(WTNH) — The newly established Commission on Community Gun Violence Intervention and Prevention held its inaugural meeting on Wednesday.

“I feel like now, something will get done about the shootings,” said Janet Rice, a survivor advocate.

Janet Rice lost her only son, Shane, to gun violence almost ten years ago. She’s now a commission member.

“I still have some days where I just don’t know how I make it through the day,” said Rice. “It’s hard, it’s really rough, and you never get over that loss.”

The group will advise the Connecticut Department of Public Health on a new statewide community gun violence intervention and prevention program, which will provide state grants to community-based violence intervention programs.

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“The work never ends,” said Leonard Jahad, Executive Director of the Connecticut Violence Intervention Program. “So, we do need that support so we can expand our programs.”

They’ll also address the causes and effects of gun violence.

“I think it’s really important Gov. Ned Lamont put this together so that the police get help, so the citizens in the communities get help because they need more help than just policing,” said Chief Karl Jacobson, of the New Haven Police Department. 

Through this work, the commission hopes to combat gun violence — in turn, making communities safer.