DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham County commissioners voted Monday night to spend $6 million on a building that will become headquarters for the violence interrupter program called Bull City United.

The commissioners voted to buy a building on Pettigrew Street that used to house The Boys and Girls Club before it moved. The building will be used as the headquarters for Bull City United, a program of violence interrupters and outreach workers who focus on mediation and preventing shootings.

Durham County Manager Kimberly Sowell explained the reasoning behind it.

“Bull City United expanded from seven employees to 25 employees in one year, so we were looking for places to be able to place staff, but also that would enable us to do more community interventions and community activities,” she said.

Staffers also pointed out during the commission meeting that the organization needs to meet and have daily briefings.

Sowell said Bull City United workers currently have space in other facilities, but she said the building, which has open space around it, will better serve the purpose of engaging the community.

“We want to have workshops and programs and this facility will allow it. It will give us the room and the space to have those programs and those activities to be able to build and help them develop soft skills and skills that are needed to help them become gainfully employed,” Sowell said.

She said the county explored other options, but the former Boys and Girls Club building in the Hayti community is important because it’s one of the areas in which Bull City United focuses.

CBS 17 asked Sowell how effective the group has been at reducing violence.

“It’s been very effective,” Sowell replied. “We recently got our fourth quarter numbers.”

“I think five out of the six [census tracts the group focuses on] there was a reduction or there was not a shooting that occurred in that census tract,” she said, adding, “It’s kind of hard to measure crimes that are prevented.”

According to Bull City United’s latest quarterly report, the group has conducted 1365 mediations in Fiscal Year 2022.