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Santa Fe College, city and county government seek alliance partners to combat gun violence

The newly formed partnership to address gun violence is looking for area organizations to join them.

Alachua County, the City of Gainesville and Santa Fe College agreed in February to work together as part of the Community Gun Violence Prevention program.

The program officially begins in December. In the meantime, Brandy Stone, the community health director with Gainesville Fire Rescue, said the group wants other Gainesville organizations to join the effort to combat gun violence, declared a public health concern in 2023.

The Gainesville Police Department reported that between 2022 and 2023, there was a 30% increase in gun-related deaths and a 27% increase in gun-related injuries.

The Community Gun Violence Prevention program is tasked with defining and monitoring the problem of gun violence and "identify risk and protective factors, develop and test prevention strategies, and ensure widespread adoption of effective strategies,” according tothe agreement document.

“We plan on convening a larger group of community stakeholders, from public safety, public health, healthcare, community-based organizations, education, our business community and, most importantly, our community members. Specifically, we’re interested in having individuals who have experience with the criminal justice system and youth at the table as well,” said Stone.

The Gun Violence Prevention Summit was held in August 2023. American Rescue Plan Act internally reallocated funds to hire a program manager for Gun Violence Prevention and the Intervention Program.

The position of program manager has been funded through December 2026.

On Feb. 7, the City of Gainesville allocated $150,000 for the program.

Alliance partners will work together to develop a plan and implementation strategy on their respective levels for the program.

The City of Gainesville has the responsibility of using resources through various city departments and set forward the “Community Care Call-Out” Initiative, which is an initiative consisting of people who will follow up with those who were victims of a gun violence incident.

Alachua County will work with a team of crisis experts and partners to help victims of gun violence heal from the experience and provide training to the team.

Santa Fe College will provide a meeting space for the program and hire staff to organize the program.

The entities will also work together to cover the program's costs, pursue additional grant opportunities, and provide updates on the program's progress.

The program does not give an exact example of gun violence, as gun violence can come in multiple forms.

“It’s exciting to have this finally move forward, we’ve talked a lot about it, so let’s see it on paper and hopefully the county will do likewise,” said Gainesville Mayor Harvey Ward.

Lee Ann Anderson is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing