UPDATED 5-24 at 11:00 p.m. By Candace Sweat
Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox says if it weren't for someone else's intervention, he may not be sitting where he is today.
"I tell you the difference between me being where I am today and me being in a prison cell was simply someone taking me by the hand, and taking the time to make sure that I knew that I wasn't going to be another statistic," said Maddox.
That's why he wants to organize a Summit on the Status of Black Males in Leon County. Maddox was motivated to start the initiative after the shooting deaths of three young black men in Tallahassee - all three killed within a month. The latest was that of 23-year-old Tyrone Jackson earlier this week.
"They're not bad young men. They simply need someone to come to them and say we care enough to be there to try to help and guide you. And it can't be a sporadic thing. It has to be a coordinated effort," said Maddox.
Already on board, is attorney Chuck Hobbs. And he's putting his money where is mouth is. Hobbs is funding the summit with 15-hundred dollars of his own money.
"If we can somehow show these young men that there's a better way other than leading a life of crime, then maybe we can stem the tide of violence in this community," said Hobbs.
"Whether they come from a broken background or not should not and will not, in my opinion, determine whether they will become successful," said Maddox.
Maddox says that's the kind of optimistic attitude that made all the difference in his own life.
The Summit is scheduled for June 16th, but details on the time and location have not yet been released. Maddox says it's not just a black problem, it's a community problem.
Anyone wanting to get involved is asked to contact the county's special projects coordinator at 850-606-5300.
Tallahassee mother Cynthia Ford says she's concerned about the recent shooting deaths in Tallahassee.
Ford said, "Crime on crime. That's what's happening in our community. What we have to do as citizens, we have to take our community back at any cost."
Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox says the first step to taking back the community is talking to the community.
Maddox is asking the county commission to schedule a summit to address recent murders.
Maddox said, "It won't be something in the past where we've had meetings and they've kind of fizzled out. I'm going to make sure that we stay into this and that we give this the type of attention that it needs."
Just a little more than two weeks before Tyrone Jackson was shot and killed Monday morning (May 23rd) on Priscilla Lane, 26-year-old Maricus Deshazier was killed outside of Walker-Ford Community Center on May 7th.
On April 23rd, 15-year-old Reshard Morrell was shot and killed outside of the Elks Lodge after a teen party.
Tallahassee resident Troy Zanders says he agrees that a summit would help, but, only if everyone's involved.
Zanders said, "Don't just get the big wigs, the pencil pushers and sit down and have a meeting with them because they're not out here. It's the people in the hood that should be at this meeting--southside, northside, east, westside."
Maddox says he's confident that getting stakeholders together to look at different options will make a difference.
Maddox says the summit wouldn't be just talk; he says he is committed to making sure that the community will move forward in their efforts,
Leon County commissioners are expected to vote Tuesday night, May 24th, on whether to have a summit.