Albany residents say they have had enough with the ongoing summer violence. This June has been called unprecedented by city officials. The police department responded to about two dozen shots fired calls, and four people were killed.

What You Need To Know

  • The city of Albany responded to about two dozen shots fired calls throughout June

  • A Block at a Time and Bridge tha Gap have joined to create a Gun Violence Task Force

  • The hope is to have community stokeholds discuss issues and come up with potential solutions

"I don’t know about everybody else, but I don’t want to keep doing this every year," says Dannielle Hille, the co-founder of A Block at a Time.

That's why ABAAT has joined forces with Bridge tha Gap, another local group, to create a community-driven gun violence task force.

"It’s very personal. I have people who have been killed that I’ve loved, and I have people who have killed that I love," says Eva Bass, the executive director of Bridge the Gap.

The group will be led by Bass, facilitated by Hille, and members will be Albany residents from impacted communities.

"There has to be more that we can do. The more people that are involved in this, the more hands on deck, the more eyes watching, the more suggestions," says Hille.

Ruth Senchyna, a gun violence prevention activist who is expected to be on the task force, says she hopes to see programs that will link those in traumatic situations with the appropriate resources.

"There’s an expression that says, 'hurt people hurt people.' If you can intervene after someone’s been hurt, maybe you can prevent them from going out and hurting somebody else," says Senchyna.

Albany police arrested a 17-year-old last week for allegedly shooting and killing Nyjawaun Thomas. He’s also accused of shooting two other people this month. Police say a year ago, he was involved in a shooting that injured a three-year-old on Elizabeth Street. Several people arrested in that shooting were teenagers.

Advocates say if he was given more help and resources, maybe he would have made different choices.

"I think that he is a victim of falling through the gap," says Bass, "He was not given the right support services even after he was identified as having all of these issues."

The task force is currently being formed and will begin meeting online shortly. The ultimate goal is for community members to identify problems, create solutions, and work together.

Anyone hoping to join the task force can visit A Block at a Time's website.