‘Enough is enough’: New task force calls for an end to gun violence in Tallahassee
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Tallahassee is continuing to grapple with an uptick in gun violence.
The city’s most recent shooting happened Monday evening, leaving one person injured.
This comes less than 24 hours after another shooting, in which a man was caught in the crossfire while taking out the trash.
And of course, two weeks ago, eight people were injured and one killed in a shooting outside Half Time Liquors.
Now, local leaders are coming together to address this growing problem.
“Enough is enough,” speaker Thaddeus Bruce said.
Bruce was one of about 50 people who attended the first meeting Monday of a new task force aimed at reducing crime in the Capital City.
“We must feel that every person who was shot or killed--that could be our son, our daughter, our neighbor,” said task force chairman Reverend R.B. Holmes.
The task force laid out 15 action items, from creating military boot camps as an alternative to jail time for young people, to expand the city’s TEMPO program which works with at-risk youth.
“We have to come together to save our children,” pastor Rudy Ferguson said. “Because while we’re sitting here now, a young kid has a gun in his hand.”
Task force members say they’ll work together with law enforcement.
TPD Chief Lawrence Revell attended the meeting, saying the police department is in need of more officers to combat violence in the community.
“More police officers on the street will make a difference,” Revell said.
Revell also said he wants to hold business owners accountable for parking lot parties that turn violent, referencing the deadly shooting on West Pensacola Street outside Half Time Liquors, which left one man dead and eight people injured.
“That’s part of the issue,” Revell said. “We know violence follows these large parties. So we continue to work with the Commission on looking at ways with code enforcement and other things to hold the business owners responsible.”
The task force will hold its second meeting on January 24th.
This is a full list of the task force’s action items:
1. Schedule city-wide prayer services in at-risk neighborhoods where violent crime activities have taken place.
2. Support creative crime prevention programs for funding.
3. Develop “Respect Yourself Military Boot Camp” targeting at-risk youth for alternate sentencing
4. Encourage the development of Police Athletic Clubs in public housing where crime is high and there is limited quality recreational, tutoring and mentorship programs.
5. Expand the city’s highly successful TEMPO program to include more at-risk youth and collaborate with Goodwill Industries for summer employment for at-risk youth.
6. Develop, if needed, ordinances that will prevent and prohibit violence: i.e. shootings at mass gatherings.
7. Work with at-risk families to provide jobs, if needed, affordable housing, job training and mentorship programs.
8. Support boys academies and after-school programs in at-risk neighborhoods.
9. Bring concerts, mini-fares, food and clothing drives in at-risk neighborhoods on a consistent basis; replicate the city’s highly successful “Frenchtown Rising” community initiative.
10. Expand city, county and school meetings in at-risk neighborhoods to increase community awareness of how government works.
11. Encourage faith-based and community leaders to ride patrols with law enforcement in at-risk neighborhoods.
12. Provide financial incentives to recruit young men, particularly those living in marginalized neighborhoods to join the military.
13. Develop a comprehensive All Boys Academy Pre-Kindergarten through grades 1-5.
14. Establish a working partnership and collaboration with faith-based groups in particular and the Sheriff’s Status of Black Men and Boys.
15. Advocate and support law enforcement and encourage increased compensation to recruit and retain the best and most gifted police officers available.
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