Urbana City Council Considers CU Fresh Start

Urbana City Council Considers CU Fresh Start: Reducing Gun Violence (WCCU)

Monday night, a new program called CU Fresh Start was introduced to Urbana City Council.

The program was created a year ago with the intention of reducing gun violence in the community. With positive results, the plan spread to over ten different cities, including Peoria.

Now, it could be coming to Champaign County.

After Urbana's City Council listened to the CU Fresh Start presentation, the council said the program is worth looking into further.

Alderwoman Diane Marlin said the upward trend in gun violence is frightening.

She said its city council's responsibility to find ways to reduce violence in the community and believes this program can be a solution.

"The gun violence has devastated families, both of the victims and of the shooters, and in this small town, those two groups have significant overlap," Marlin said. "It damages neighborhoods and it really hurts the entire community. And people are just fed up with the violence."

The program will be a three step process. The first is to increase community support. The second is to identify 25 to 50 core offenders in the city and require them to attend a meeting and talk with victims of gun violence.

Then, should the offenders decide to leave firearms behind, they will be provided services that will assist in their changeover away from violence.

Urbana City Council will decide whether or not to support the initiative within the next few weeks.

The Coalition will present the initiative to the Champaign City Council Tuesday night.

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