Adams leads delegation in addressing gun violence in Trinidad

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams is leading a delegation that includes members of the 67th Police Precinct Clergy Council in Brooklyn on a visit to Trinidad and Tobago that is focused on local and global issues relating to gun violence.

The mission comes at the invitation of the Trinidad & Tobago – USA Clergy Council and Major Gen. Edmund Dillon, Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of National Security, according to the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President.

On his three-day visit, Adams, a former New York City Police Sergeant, is scheduled to meet with high-ranking government ministers, as well as members of its local faith community, “to advance a solution-oriented public safety dialogue,” the statement said.

“I am honored to come to Trinidad and Tobago and represent Brooklyn’s vibrant Caribbean population, a population concerned about safety and security in both of our nations,” said Adams just before departure on Wednesday.

“Our two countries stand for many of the same values; we both stand tall on the foundation of rich diversity, a democratic form of government, and the traditions of the common law,” he added. “Unfortunately, we also share the problem of gun violence rates that are disproportionately high when compared to other nations.

“I am hopeful that we will have an opportunity to learn from each other, as we search for solutions that make our communities safer places to raise healthy children and families,” Adams continued.

Hoping to spark a larger conversation about protecting families in the United States and Trinidad and Tobago, Adams will join a prayer vigil for the victims of gun violence in the capital Port-of-Spain, as well as deliver the keynote address at a symposium on finding solutions to gun violence, the statement said.

In addition, it said Adams will visit Major Gen. Dillon, as well as John L. Estrada, United States Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, and Mayor Keron Valentine of Port of Spain.

“These discussions build on efforts by Borough President Adams to work with the community of faith to protect families and children from the threat of gun violence,” the statement said.

Following the massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina in June, Adams convened an emergency briefing with close to 100 clergy members and counterterrorism experts on safety at local houses of worship, where he discussed crisis strategies, such as creating a notification system for mobilizing the faith community.

More recently, he joined faith leaders, the New York City administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to launch #WeAreJOuvert, a campaign comprising public safety and community outreach efforts that will be undertaken by a coalition of local stakeholders in advance of J’Ouvert festivities in Brooklyn on Labor Day Holiday, the first Monday in September.

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