- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — New York City is expanding a community outreach program in an effort to curb a recent spike in shootings.

The number of shootings citywide is up more than 12 percent even as overall crime is down.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that a new crisis management system will be put in place in the 14 precincts that account for 51 percent of the city’s shootings.

The mayor said part of the plan entails enlisting community members - often former gang members - who will reach out to individuals who seem poised to commit violence.

Social service groups and hospitals will help run the $13 million program.

It will also put an emphasis on mental health and install anti-gun ads in neighborhoods plagued with violence.

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