DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — Dozens of people in Danville came together to eat, drink, and build a stronger bond between each other.
“It’s vital,” says Pastor of the Danville Church of God LeStan Hoskins. “I think relationships are important. If we know each other and if we are fighting for the same cause, safety, a better community. If we work together I believe we can do it.”
The church wants to see change and to fight violence in the city. Just three days ago 19-year old Antonio Jones was killed just down the street. Implementing change in this neighborhood and every neighborhood was important to everyone there.
“I’m just really excited to see how this is going to impact the community,” says church member Julia Brock. “I’ve been thinking somethings big’s been coming for a long time and I’m wondering if this is it or if this is is the start of it. I’m really excited to see where this goes.”
One of the ways they want to start that impact is by working on their relationship with law enforcement. Chief of Police Chris Yates was there and spoke to the crowd. He says connecting with the community will help.
“Regardless of what my position is, my biggest position is just being a member of this community,” says Yates. “That’s something that’s important for the community itself to understand. We don’t differentiate between the Police Department and the City of Danville.”
Moving forward the church is looking for more help and to get the entire city involved to make change.
“No one can do it alone,” says Hoksins. “If churches could work together, not just churches but law enforcement, if communities could work together with the same goal and purpose of mind then I believe that change is going to come.”