The Niagara Falls Peacemakers announced a rebranding last week at their meeting in Outwater Park for their newest chapter in the City of Lockport. This will unite all of the Peacemaker outfits throughout western New York with the branding of ‘Western New York Peacemakers’.
The self-described faith-based organization strives not only to open a line of communication between law enforcement and community residents, but to respond on scene to incidents of aggression between residents and help neutralize the situation before it potentially turns violent.
Ezra Scott Jr., Head Coordinator of the Niagara Falls chapter of Western New York Peacemakers, has been instrumental in establishing a Lockport based division. In the recent meeting at Outwater Park, multiple Lockport residents gathered with the interest of joining the group. Scott described what the Peacemakers are all about, stating, “You see these yellow shirts, you’re going to know that is a person of positivity. Someone you can go to for support and help.”
The organization, which is headed by Back-to-Basics Ministries in Buffalo, has permeated throughout that area over the last few years as a force of good in the community, eventually breaking the barrier into Niagara County. With two years in Niagara Falls, a healthy line of communication with the NFPD, and several instances of peaceful intervention; the group has now found a calling in the City of Lockport.
“This is a faith-based initiative,” Scott said, adding, “We’re not out here preaching. What we are doing, is we are just kind of taking the love you preach about in the church and bringing it out from behind those four walls.”
Additionally, Scott noted that the hat and shirt uniform all Western New York Peacemakers wear is more than just branding, he explained, “When we walk about in these uniforms, you know, you want to be very mindful of what you are doing. When you start wearing this yellow shirt, people will recognize you for being peaceful.”
The organization does perform background checks. Scott explained, “The background is simply because we work a lot with the youth.” He added, “We don’t want to put any of these kids that we are trying to protect in harm’s way.”
Lacory Edwards, President of the Niagara Falls Chapter of the WNY Peacemakers, spoke on the organization’s cause. He noted, “So, you know, we are just trying to connect as many people that are fighting for the common good as possible.” According to Edwards, the organization goes far beyond just breaking up altercations. For example, the WNY Peacemakers provide community beautification, internships, safe passage programs for children leaving school, and act as a general well of support for community members going through hard times.
The budding Lockport chapter of WNY Peacemakers is currently developing its organizational structure, and plans to meet next week, again with the Niagara Falls Chapter available for overall advisement.
If you are interested in joining the organization, or simply participating in a meeting, the next one is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on September 25th at Outwater Park.