Program aimed at curbing violence in Charlotte receives $1 million for expansion

CHARLOTTE — A new source of funding will help a violence diversion program expand its services to more neighborhoods across Charlotte.

The Charlotte City Council pledged $1 million in federal money to Alternatives to Violence (ATV) during its regular meeting on Monday.

Since its launch a little over a year ago, ATV has focused on the Beatties Ford Road corridor in west Charlotte. It uses trained community members to address problems without violence or police involvement.

The organization’s Youth Advocate Programs runs the operation and has helped deescalate 45 incidents that could’ve turned violent, they said

With the influx of funding, the city could create something similar along Nations Ford Road and Arrowood Road in southeast Charlotte. The area around West Boulevard and Remount Road in west Charlotte, as well as the Southside Homes Neighborhood in southwest Charlotte have also been considered.

Sonya McIntyre lives in Steele Creek where expansion is on the table. She’s been asking Charlotte-Mecklenburg police to increase patrols, but Channel 9 was told it didn’t have the resources.

Instead, the department added a surveillance tower that records activity in the area. McIntyre advocated for the addition, but has also taken measures into her own hands.

She patrols the neighborhood with a rifle that she says is licensed and she is trained to use.

“We have a community that’s under hostage,” McIntyre said. “People are gonna have to change their own communities.”

The hope is that by August of next year, ATV will have its teams in some of the neighborhoods and McIntyre would be able to set down her gun.

>>> In the video at the top of this page, Channel 9′s Anthony Kustura speaks with some residents who say they’ve been begging for more local intervention.

(WATCH BELOW: 9 Investigates: Is the justice system stopping youth gun violence?)