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Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners invest $1.6 million in gun violence prevention programs

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In an effort to reduce gun violence, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to provide $1.6 million to community organizations that aim to address its root causes.

"I can assure you. This will save lives."

That’s Billy Cole, the president of Supreme Felons, shortly after learning his organization would receive $1.2 million to expand their operation.

The group, largely made up of ex-felons, takes a hands-on approach to violence prevention. They support individuals coming home from prison, as well as mentoring at-risk kids.

Cole can hire more staff and expand their reach in the community.

"It will raise our level 95%. As far as success rate and being able to reach those individuals that are directly affected with violence."

A Brighter Way, a group that focuses on reducing recidivism, and The Dispute Resolution Center, received $250,000 and $200,000 respectively.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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