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04-02-14-cease-fire.gifStarting in April, Operation Ceasefire will host its movie night initiatives in an attempt to reduce gun and gang violence in Cumberland County. All movie events are open to the public and held outdoors. The movies start at 7:30 p.m., and everyone is encouraged to bring chairs, families, friends and colleagues to enjoy a free movie under the stars.

Operation Ceasefire is an intervention program dedicated to improving the quality of life for all residents of Fayetteville/Cumberland County by reducing gun and gang violence in our community.

Although Operation Ceasefire is not an amnesty or a gun turn-in program, it does work to reduce gun violence and inform felons of their restricted rights and new responsibilities pertaining to firearms and ammunition. Not only does this program seek to reduce violent crimes in our community by maintaining strategic and effective partnerships, but it also offers to assist individuals in successfully changing their lifestyles.

There are several businesses dedicated to hiring former felons or assisting them with job placement, ministries that are willing to mentor, admonish, and exhort individuals struggling with changes they undergo in life, and resource organizations designed to help with the daily needs and challenges of successful living.

Operation Ceasefire is not a program that forgives offenders for their violent acts, but rather a program that meets individuals where they are and helps them to reach the next level of change, if change is something they really want. For those who continue doing harm, it is a promise to bring the full impact of a united community to vigorously prosecute violent crimes.

Operation Ceasefire has had an 80 percent success rate in intervention. More than 6,000 residents have made connections with law enforcement and one another at a Ceasefire Movie Night events, and more than 1,000 children have made the commitment to stand against gun violence. In 2011, fugitive surrender cleared 200 warrants, peaceably removing over 130 names from the “WANTED” list.

The plan for Operation Ceasefire is to offer help to former offenders that want to change and need assistance turning from crime and violence, to teach offenders about state and federal firearms laws and Operation Ceasefire’s role in enforcing the same, to respond to future incidents of violence through arrest and prosecution to the fullest extent of state and federal law aggressively and to promote firearm safety and gang prevention throughout the county.

The national received rate of individuals with criminal record averages 67 percent. Without intervening programs like Operation Ceasefire, most of those individuals would continue to commit crimes again and again, leading them to be incarcerated within three years of their last conviction.

From Jan. 1, 2011, through June 30, 2011, Fayetteville experienced a 10 percent reduction in gun crime compared with the same time frame in 2010. Of the participants called-in from August 2010 through July 2011, 80 percent have either successfully completed probation or are in good standing with no criminal violations.

The dates for the movie nights are April 11, May 9, June 6, Sep. 19 and Oct. 10. For information on the event locations, contact Operation Ceasefire Resource Coordinator Lisa Jayne at (910) 433-1017 or LJayne@ci.fay.nc.us.

Additional useful resource links for investigators, parents, children and community stakeholders can be found athttp://ceasefire.ci.fayetteville.nc.us/links.aspx.

Photo: Operation Ceasefire is an intervention program dedicated to improving the quality of life for all residents of Fayetteville/Cumberland County by reducing gun and gang violence in our community.

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