Council On Gun Violence Looks For Help

By: Chris Gros; James Buechele Email
By: Chris Gros; James Buechele Email
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UPDATE 10:43 p.m. 7-24-14
By:James Buechele

People in Tallahassee have a number of opinions on the recent uptick in gun violence in the city. From punishment,

"If the person is caught, they need to be penalized to the maximized allotment of the law," said Jim Nalls.

To preventative measures.

"More rehabilitation places in town more treatment centers," said one Tallahassee resident. "I think we can educate a lot of the people that are committing those crimes."

It's ideas like these the council on gun violence wants to hear from the public at its next meeting in three weeks.

Ed Clark, a member of that council says he hopes more people show up to voice ideas on how to lower gun crime.

"I think we have a lot more participation from the most relevant I would argue agencies and stakeholders in our community," said Clark.

Although it remains to be seen if this panel will be different from panels in the past, residents say they're on board with a change.

"This is not the way we were born," said Tallahassee native Bill Jefferson. "This is not the way we were raised and this is not the way that we should live."

The place for the August 14 meeting at 3:00 p.m. has not been decided.


UPDATE 10:52 p.m.
By: James Buechele

Leaders from law enforcement, neighborhoods and clergy had a number of opinions on how to stop the increase in gun violence.

"98% of this, 99% of this is community members preying on other community members," said TPD chief Michael DeLeo.

DeLeo says the goals are to make the city a better place for future generations.

"The idea is not just to put band aids on it but to find a long-term solution that makes the community better."

Pastor Rudy Ferguson has been on many panels before, however, this time he's more optimistic.

"Everybody around the table their heart was strong the level of commitment was strong," said Ferguson.

The next meeting location has not been selected but it will be on Thursday August 14 at 3:00 p.m.


Update: James Buechele
July 23, 2014

Community leaders gather to talk gun violence in the city of Tallahassee.

The meeting comes on the heels of five shootings in July alone.

The council is made up of more than a dozen leaders from law enforcement to neighborhood and faith based leaders.

One of the biggest things to come from tonight's meeting is the fact that the council has set up four subcommittees.

One will be the assessment and strategic planning that will cover facts on neighborhood crimes. Second, neighborhood and faith based community. Third, education prevention and youth subcommittee and finally a criminal justice and re-entry subcommittee.

TPD chief Michael DeLeo says all the information they gather can hopefully help in the short and long term.

DeLeo said, "The idea is not just to put band-aids on it but to find a long term solution that makes the community better not only in the next months, the next years. But long term for our children for generations to come."

It's the hope that these subcommittees will gather enough information to start formulating a plan to cut back on gun violence in the city.


July 23, 2014
By:Chris Gros

Tallahassee, FL - There have been five shootings in July in Florida’s Capital City.

That gun violence is the reason a Tallahassee leadership council created by TPD is meeting Wednesday.

"Our goal is to sit around the table and we need to come up and find a way to combat this gun violence. With the recent shootings prior to the town hall meeting and after the town hall meeting," said Pastor Rudy Ferguson.

The council was created on July 10th as part of TPD’s "Five Point Plan" to improve public safety. But members of the public say they want to see more than just talk when it comes to fighting gun violence.

"I believe that a mentor program is very important thing but at the same time these kids are. They don't have anybody working behind them," said Ti Ti’s Store Owner Yared Ballo

Although the council hasn't listed specific solutions yet, Pastor Ferguson wants to eventually lobby legislators.

"I’m hoping this council will be the first to say let's go to the capitol and let's talk to our representatives and our senators and say hey listen we've got a major problem with guns particularly in the black community," said Ferguson

As for how the council will perform?

"I believe that we can get the job done. Committees fail because people fail," said Ferguson

Tomorrow's meeting will be at the Jack McLean Community Center at 3:00 p.m. Eyewitness news will bring you full coverage as it takes place.


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