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Community center reopens to help local youngsters

Senate Democratic Leader Malcolm A. Smith was joined by community leaders and local elected officials to re-open the Redfern Community Center in the aftermath of recent shootings in and near the public housing development.
The facility was one of several centers managed by the City’s Housing Authority closed early this year. Residents in the area complained at a community meeting hosted by Smith in May that neighborhood youths had no recreational centers available, which may have contributed to a recent surge in crime as the long summer days had arrived.
Smith said that opening the center was just the first step in implementing components of the Operation S.N.U.G.
“I am extremely pleased I was able to secure the $80,000 in funding needed to re-open the Redfern Community Center,” said Smith. “This center will keep our children safe and out of harm’s way during the summertime. I plan to continue working with my colleagues in government and local organizations to orchestrate a more long-term plan to ensure our youths have recreational options available year-round.”
Meetings with city local leaders and law enforcement officials have been held in Far Rockaway and Harlem, to construct a plan to stop violence in the area, leading to the creation of Operation S.N.U.G. Formally known as Operation C.O.M.P.P., emergency meetings were convened following several shooting incidents that occurred during the Memorial Holiday week in Harlem and Far Rockaway, leaving eight individuals wounded and fatally killing Brandon Bethea and Tyreece Johnson. The shootings were separate incidents.
This new initiative consists of:
S treet intervention and stopping the violence
N ational, state and local funding support
U se of celebrities and centers
G angs, guns, gainful employment.

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