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York City's Group Violence Intervention initiative called in eight Yorkers on probation who have connections with area "groups" responsible for much of York's gun violence. They were told gun violence will no longer be tolerated.

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The coordinator of York City's Group Violence Intervention initiative is leaving his position next week.

Jim Tice took on the part-time job two years ago and was instrumental in getting the anti-gun-violence initiative up and running by uniting the city's social-services community and law enforcement.

"Jim has done a fabulous job bringing together partners that were not communicating on this level before," York City Mayor Michael Helfrich said. "He really established GVI as a premiere system to increase the working relationships between not just the York City Police Department and the district attorney, but also the surrounding municipalities, the federal government, the state government — so many partners working together in an unprecedented manner."

Tice, who turns 72 next month, told The York Dispatch that his last day will be Friday, June 29. He gave his notice about six weeks ago, he said.

"GVI is really more full-time than what I signed up for, which was part-time," Tice said. "I don't want to do full-time anymore."

York City has added a new component to GVI, called the Community Police Response to Victims of Violence, he said. Coupled with the increased amount of other community outreach and different facets of GVI, it has become more work than he bargained for.

'At a good point': "If I thought (GVI) was in bad shape, I don't know if I'd be leaving right away," Tice said. "But I think we're at a good point. ... Everything's set up."

Tice said he believes GVI is working in York City and noted that David M. Kennedy, the creator of the initiative, has said it would take about two years to see results.

"Has gun violence stopped? No. But part of the question you always have to ask is, how much have we prevented?" Tice said. "Our relationships are good, and we're making a difference. ... We still have a long way to go, but I think every city does."

Matthew Carey, CEO of LifePath Christian Ministries, will step in as interim coordinator, according to Tice. LifePath is the former York Rescue Mission.

Carey has been chairman of GVI's support and outreach efforts.

"Matt Carey has been part of the team from the beginning and brings a strong knowledge and skill set regarding social outreach and assistance, which is a real passion of mine," Helfrich said. "So I’m excited, and I know Matt will do a great job … for as long as we need him."

Carey said he expects a smooth transition.

Stability is key: "(Tice and I) have worked closely all along, so this isn't really something new for me. For the most part, I already understand how it works," Carey said of GVI. "I just want to keep stability to this initiative."

Tice leaves big shoes to fill, according to Carey.

"He's done a tremendous job," Carey said.

More: York City's shootings drop by half, GVI credited for reduction

More: Initiative lays down law on gun violence, offers 2nd chance

More: York mayor: Anti-violence meeting 'an amazing experience'

GVI's governance committee is working on creating a job description so they can advertise for Tice's permanent replacement, according to Tice.

He received $55,000 a year under his year-to-year contract with York City, he said, an expense being covered in full by the York County Community Foundation.

"I've really appreciated the City of York and all the resources we have ... and the willingness of the people to give GVI a try. And I think it's paid off," Tice said. "I have particular appreciation for our police department here and also for our community pastors and the community resources we have in this town."

He said GVI "has changed the way we do business" in York City and has improved relations between the community and its police department.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

 

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