“They can form relationships in high-violence communities that police, social workers and ministers simply can’t,” Butts said.Cure Violence was started under the rubric Cease Fire in Chicago in 1995 by Gary Slutkin, an epidemiologist who theorized that gang violence could be treated like an epidemic.(Slutkin had worked with the World Health Organization combating AIDS in Uganda.) Unlike an anti-gang model popularized in Boston during the late 1990s, in which ex-offenders and police officers worked together to curtail violence, Slutkin’s approach leans more heavily on members of the street culture.Kathy Buettner, the spokeswoman for Cure Violence, responded to the story Friday and wrote: "The issues about the management of a site are handled at the local level, not at the Cure Violence national level." New York City Mission Society, the organization that runs Harlem SNUG, said staffing changes were recently made but did not say whether allegations of gang activity were the cause.Jeff Simmons, a spokesman for the Mission Society, did not provide more details.“The City takes these allegations seriously,” Solon wrote in a statement.“We do not want to lose sight of the important role that credible messengers and targeted programming can play in preventing violence, however it must be done in a manner that promotes safety.” Safety has been a recurring issue for Harlem SNUG’s parent organization, Cure Violence, which uses former gang members to mediate simmering street conflicts between warring teenagers and young adults who are beyond the influence of local police.Other notable characters include Priest Vallon, Amsterdam's father (Liam Neeson), Johnny Sirocco (Henry Thomas), and 'Happy' Jack Mulroney (John C.Scorsese at the Gangs of New York screening at the Cannes Film Festival with Leonardo Di Caprio and Cameron Diaz. Licensed under CC Attribution Share Alike 2.5 license" data-lightbox="media-gallery-1567855807"Reilly).Vaughn, whose allegations have cast a shadow over the New York program, understands both sides of the law.The daughter of a 20-year veteran of the Bakersfield Police Department, she said she served four years in a California prison for robbing a Bank of America branch.