Erie County Legislature Chairperson Betty Jean Grant (D-Buffalo) and County Legislator Timothy R. Hogues (D-Buffalo) are inviting all stakeholders and county residents to the “Summit on Violent Crime and Homicide in Buffalo, New York,” from 5:30-7:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 17, at the Frank E. Merriweather Library, 1324 Jefferson Ave., Buffalo.

Chairperson Grant and Legislator Hogues notes that most of the 15 homicides reported in Buffalo in 2013 have “transpired in the 1st and 2ndCounty Legislative districts. By any measure, this is community crisis of epic proportion.”

The summit will bring together elected and appointed officials from three levels and three branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial), as well as community leaders, anti-violence groups and the law enforcement community.

“We need to stop, listen to and learn about the community’s desire to be engaged on such a vital issue that affects all of us. The community can play a decisive role in offering suggestions and solutions supported by sound research,” Chairperson Grant said. “We can learn from the best practices and successful initiatives in cities that have made progress in restoring public safety, and the community will be informed of government collaborations under way and being developed to address this blight in Buffalo.”

“It won’t be east, but this conversation is necessary. There are Buffalo neighborhoods whose health, safety and socioeconomic statistics rival those of war-torn Third World countries,” Legislator Hogues, chair of the Public Safety Committee, said. “The first step is neighborhood safety; we all agree that the carnage has to stop, and it falls on law enforcement and the criminal justice system to be the first responders, prosecutors and dispensers of justice.

For more information, people can call the Erie County Legislature at 858-7500.