Community leaders demand action as violent crime surges 22% in New York City

NEW YORK (WABC) -- As crime continues to surge in New York City, local leaders are looking to fund programs and services to help reduce crime.

Violent crime is up by 22%, according to the latest statistics from the NYPD.

Just this past Memorial Day, there were several shootings - and one left an innocent 15-year-old dead.

"Our kids are dying at a rapid rate, we need your help," said Khayan Reed.

Reed has lived on the tough streets and he's a success story. Now he is an outreach worker with Jacobi Medical Center's Stand Up to Violence (SUV) program.

"We turned our lives around, we are no longer tearing down our communities, but we are building up our communities," Reed said.

The SUV program provides support to those involved in guns and violence and helps them get on the right path.

"They mentor at-risk youth on vocational and job opportunities and they deploy outreach workers to go to emergencies and work to prevent retaliation," said Sen. Minority Leader Charles Schumer.

The NYPD now says crime is on the rise in NYC by 22% since May of 2020 and they report shootings are up 73% in the last 12 months.

"We are in the streets every day, we hear those cries from those mothers and fathers," Reed said.

There is now a harder push to stop that heartbreak and bring intervention.

On Thursday, Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez backed $400,000 in federal funds to add mental health services to SUV.

"Let's figure out what led to the precipitation of that event, does that person have housing, are they adequately employed, are things OK at home," Ocasio-Cortez said.

In its seven years, it's been a success.

"This year our SUV team has successfully decreased community shootings by 45% in our SUV target areas," said Dr. Noe Romo, with SUV-Jacobi Medical Center.

Progress has been made but there is so much more to be done to make others strong enough to get on the right path.

"If we come together as a community, I can assure you this can end," Reed said.

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