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Is gun violence in Newtown getting better or worse?

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SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - Over the past few months there have been several shootings in the North Sarasota neighborhood, Newtown. 

The most recent was Tuesday night near 23rd Street.

Despite that most recent incident, violence in Newtown  is getting better.

According to Sarasota Police Department and a City Commisioner, they say gun violence has dropped compared to recent years.

Sarasota Police Department provided a report to ABC 7 with the number of shooting in 2017 and 2018.

In 2017, there were 28 aggravated assaults or batteries involving a gun and 1 homicide.

Even though were only a few months into the year, there have already been 14 aggravated assaults or batteries involving a gun and also 1 homicide.

Sarasota City Commissioner Willie Shaw tells us the number of crimes in Newtwon has dropped drastically compared to past years.

"We have seen a decrease in guns over the last 7 years. Anytime public health and welfare is at risk we have an issue", says Shaw.

Commissioner Shaw says back in 2011 there were about 7 homicides.

He says what's been assisting to the decline in gun violence are programs and initiatives in Newtown.

So far there two mentoring programs that are already in place to help promote positivity and fight against gun violence.

Programs helping are Brotherhood of Men which is led by Booker High School's Student Resource Officer Dominic Harris.

The other program is Men and Women of Purpose.

That program is for adults living in Newtown.

Commissioner Shaw says in addition to those programs, he, other city leaders and police hope to bring three other initiatives to Newtown.

Those programs include Don't Go Ballistic, Every Life Matters and Cure Violence.

All three will promote looking for other ways to resolve issues other than gun violence and educating the public on the dangers of violence.

Commissioner Shaw says there are also other plans promote safety in Newtown.

"We're looking forward to putting on a march in this same awareness and hopefully it would preventative and in being proactive we are putting on a gun buy back", says Shaw.

So far a date for both has not been released.

Commissioner Shaw says both should be sometime this year.