We hope you, your families, and your professional and social networks are healthy and safe in these deeply worrying times. We know that some of our partners and friends have been directly affected by COVID-19 and we are thinking of you and your communities every day.
We’re glad to tell you that NNSC—both as an organization and as a literal network of sites across the country—is set up such that our operations and our work aren’t easily disrupted. In New York and Chicago, our staff are working remotely, and we’re using our conference line infrastructure and added video conferencing to ensure that we’re able to stay in our regular communication with all of you. While we’ve suspended travel, we’re working on ways to conduct our core work with you remotely, including GVI Universities, problem analyses, peer exchanges, and day-to-day strategic support. We’re very pleased that our initial test run of a working-session-by-video conference was highly productive (major thanks to the Kingston, NY partners for working with us to make that happen) and we’re confident in our and your ability to use technology to keep his important work going.
We know that this is a deeply challenging time for all of our communities, and that just as official actions and guidance are changing rapidly, your day-to-day operations and what you’re dealing with on the ground are in flux as well. We are committed to being in steady contact with you about your operational situation, violence as it’s presenting itself, and how we ought to be responding to it: both within the focused deterrence framework and with anything else we can come up with.
NNSC is, fortunately, well positioned to support you during this time. Our network includes cities all over the country and increasingly across the world, and our partnerships range from the very front lines to local, state, and national policymakers. In our conversations so far, we are not seeing paralysis — far from it. We’re hearing from partners who are working with urgency to translate their existing violence prevention strategies and tactics in real time:
- Cities continue to track, discuss and response to group involved violence by holding shooting review meetings via Zoom, Google Hangouts, and conference calls
- Law enforcement and outreach partners alike are finding ways to continue to communicate directly with high-risk groups and individuals while observing social distancing
- Our outreach and support partners are realigning their resources to prioritize urgent food and pharmacy assistance for clients
- We’re actively working with our site partners to plan alternative messaging to groups in lieu of call-ins scheduled this spring
And so on, and so on. We’re launching new communications mechanisms to ensure that we can listen to and contribute to this running conversation about the emerging state of the art of violence prevention in this new and fluid context; that we can stay in touch with all of you about what you’re doing; and can identify and share issues, innovations, and ideas across the national and international network.
We’re grateful for your commitment and continuing hard work as we collectively adapt to our new-for-now reality. Please do not hesitate to contact NNSC staff by phone, email, or video conference to let us know how we can be better supporting you in your work.