COLUMBUS, Ga. — In the wake of more than 20 murders and recent gang roundups in Columbus, concerned citizens come together, to create an action plan to curb crime.
The group focused most of their attention on the youth and gang affiliation. Wednesday night’s group included former gang members. They say in order to get to the root of the problem they need to be able to bring the youth and gang members to the table. They explain how they plan to make this happen.
“How can I tell you, ‘You need this?’ If I can’t hear what you’re problem is.”
Wednesday a group of concerned citizens gathered in Columbus to address crime. Most everyone, including former gang members, appeared to agree. The youth and gang affiliation is a growing problem in the city.
“As a follow-up from the crime forum we had a few weeks ago, we don’t wanna continue to keep having meetings and talking about it, and talking about it…we want to actually put boots on the ground and do what we need to do,” says Waleisah Wilson.
The group of concerned citizens included some of those very familiar with the southside of Columbus, an area many agree that’s riddled with crime. Some of the group members claim to know some of the gang members and they believe they can get some of those committing crime to come to the table.
“We can’t automatically say hey people are doing this because they don’t have money…you know we don’t know if they have money or not so the only way to know that instead of sitting around a table talking about other people and what their issues are..take it to them and find out what is stopping you from reaching your full potential.,” says Wilson.
Other concerned citizens like Joseph Foster agree, there’s a specific age group that needs to be targeted.
“Young males between the ages of 15 to about 25/35 in that age range,” says Joseph Foster.
Foster explains the benefits of sitting down with some of those involving with crime.
“Often times we’ll give a prescriptive manner on how to solve something but we haven’t done a good assessment on why it occurred,” says Foster.
And when it comes to making residents feel safe, other concerned citizens say.
“Neighborhood watches do work, citizens are your best resource and they don’t cost any money,” says Eric Woodson.
Concerned citizens say the meeting with those committing crime will be very discreet. No police nor media will be invited.