NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - Now to Niagara Falls where a growing initiative aims to curb high crime rates in New York State.
"Operation SNUG" brought its message of peace to the Cataract City with a late-night event.
Passionate Niagara Falls residents, on a mission to stop the violence in their neighborhoods, joined forces late Saturday night.
Rashina of Niagara Falls said, "The purpose of this rally is to show people in Niagara Falls and in the area, we got to stand up for something. We know this one day is not going to stop everything but we want people to come together and live their life."
Outraged by recent gun violence in the Falls, people say something has to change.
"We're trying to have this summer start off to be a good summer," added Rashina.
Operation SNUG, which is guns spelled backwards, and the Niagara Falls Housing Authority helped organize the BBQ on Pierce Avenue in the Falls.
SNUG supervisor Xavier Walker says building strong relationships with the younger generation will help bring about positive change.
Walker said, "We walk the community and we talk with the youth out in the communities and let them know about violence, shootings and killings, and how we don't condone it."
Maria Shavers says she came to show her support because she was personally touched by gun violence.
"My son was killed here five years ago and it had to do with guns," said Shavers.
Fired up Falls resident Samuel Harris points to the children in the community as a reason for people to change for the better.
Harris said, "Look, see these little kids around here, this is what we got and we don't want to see none of them shot, we don't want to see non of them killed."
SNUG leaders say bottom line is they want young people to learn that conflicts can be resolved peacefully.
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