DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA)– City leaders are building momentum in the fight against violence. Community leaders want to curb the violence. Later this month they plan to get together with others to find solutions.
Courtney Carson is a minister, educator, and community leader. He is part of an event to discuss ways to curb violence. Clergy, the mayor, community leaders, law enforcement, and several companies will be there. “They have the opportunity to leave with employment. I believe deep down in my heart that nothing stops a bullet like a job,” said Carson.
Earlier this month the Decatur Police Department reported that violent crimes and property crimes went down in 2018 compared to 2017. Homicides dropped by 10 percent. Sexual assaults went down about 42 percent, and robberies decreased about 21 percent. Community leaders say there’s still work to do.
Terrence Taylor is a radio personality. He works for Decatur Public Schools, and mentors youth. “A lot of the kids from the homes that they come from, the only way that they know how to deal with stress or negativity is by violence,” said Taylor.
Albert Amos started a mentorship program this month to address these issues. “I think that somebody needs to be a voice to come out and let the public know that this is an issue that we need to address,” said Amos.
This month they will be on a panel to bring light to those issues. They believe it starts with community. “By taking care of each other and each other’s kids and know that we’re doing it out of love,” said Taylor. “This is our problem as a community. It’s our problem as a city. Each and every last one of us must come together,” said Carson.
The event is completely free to the public. They’re hoping this will get more people talking and taking action to stop violence.