In March of this year, Gadsden County deputies arrested a teenager in connection with the shooting death of a Robertsville man. As a result of this and so many other crimes in the rural community, Sheriff Morris Young is now turning to the clergy for help.
"Most of the time, we rely on law enforcement to go in our community and police our community, but I think it's a good thing if we can get the faith-based community helping us."
Thursday, some 50 members of the clergy and law enforcement officials were on hand for the inaugural "God Squad" meeting. It's an initiative geared towards curbing crime or diffusing situations in Gadsden County.
"The sheriff wanted to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. There was no dialogue going on and that's something the sheriff wanted to change, and I think this program will change it because it's a positive program.”
"With this initiative, law enforcement and the clergy working together and with this God Squad, I'm certainly hoping it can help minimize crime.”
Local ministers are hoping their presence away from the pulpit will send a clear message.
"Once we begun to come out and dwell with the people and become part of the people. I think they'll see a difference in the church."
Sheriff Young is hoping this community will make a difference and make Gadsden a better place to live. The "God Squad" program was created in Daytona Beach in 1988 and is now in operation in various other states. The seminar wraps up Friday.