NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Mayor John Cooper held a discussion with various community groups Wednesday to speak about the success of a new crime-reduction program called Group Violence Intervention (GVI), but an anti-violence advocate believes Nashville neighborhoods have only grown more dangerous.

GVI is geared toward the few people in the community who are committing the most crimes.

The program focuses on having community members who are respected by “groups,” including gangs and drug crews, work alongside police and social services to interrupt crime before it happens, breaking the cycle of retaliation and revenge among different groups.

GVI officials also make criminals aware of the harsh punishments they face if they continue their criminal activity.

The program has had success reducing crime in many cities, including Detroit, Chicago, and New Orleans.

However, Clemmie Greenlee, a community activist and founder of the Mothers Over Murder nonprofit, told News 2 she hasn’t noticed a difference in Nashville.

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“What I’m seeing is nothing being done, an increase, and people saying there’s a reduction in violence — gun violence, youth violence, gang violence — and that’s not true,” Greenlee said.

Greenlee began advocating against crime after her son was murdered in 2003, and she said to this day, his death continues to motivate her to keep going.

“This is personal for me,” Greenlee said. “It ain’t just about my son, my nephew, my grandson. It’s about all your children, the ones who are pulling the trigger and the ones getting put in the ground.”

Greenlee told News 2 her opinion on whether GVI could be effective is “50/50,” depending on which community members the city hires to do the job. She believes they also need to be willing to work around the clock, because crime reduction is a 24/7 job.

However, Greenlee said encouraging criminals to stop the violence is only half the battle.

“Then what? What are you offering them? Where are they going to go to talk to someone about what they do next?” she asked.

“You can’t just go and tell me, I’ve been robbing and stealing and stuff to survive, put food on the table, whatever they’re doing it for, and then you want to tell me to stop, but you’re not offering me any alternative,” Greenlee added.

Gang members need jobs and other outlets that give them a reason to stop committing crimes, according to Greenlee, which is the final step of GVI.

Meanwhile, Greenlee believes the meetings, like the one Nashville leaders held on Wednesday, Feb. 15, are “a waste of time.”

“It’s really pathetic, and I’m not taking that back,” she said. “I want you to have a real meeting with the real soldiers, and I’m one of them.”

To learn more about Greenlee’s nonprofit, which is a part of Nashville Peacemakers, click here.