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God Squad': Pastors, Churches Unite to Form Unique Crime-Fighting Group in NYC

Faith

"Clergy crisis response team."

This Friday, May 25, 2012 photo provided by the Maui Police Department shows a pellet gun that looks like a semi-automatic handgun that police say Marshall Langford pointed at them before an officer shot and killed him in Wailuku, Hawaii. A Maui County spokesman says Langford was fleeing in a stolen vehicle when the incident occurred. Credit: AP

They're being called the "God Squad," a collective of pastors in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, who are working with the New York Police Department (NYPD) in an effort to crack down on local crime. Last month, Pastor Gilford Monrose quietly launched the program, which involves assigning 14 churches different portions of the city's 67th Precinct.

These faith leaders are tasked with building relationships with gang members and criminals in an effort to encourage them to turn themselves in. Considering that the precinct ranked third in the city in 2012 for having the most shootings and murders, the religious leaders are taking charge to curb violence. The idea emerged after Monrose, among others, voiced frustration and sadness over senseless death and violence.

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