Pastors and Police Tackling Crime
It’s only three months into the new year and violent crimes are already affecting Gulf Coast communities in a devastating way. News 25’s Kendra Turley gives us a look at what local pastors and police officers are doing to help solve this unfortunate trend.
Best friends James, Idamian and Jashaon are not even teenagers but have witnessed some pretty intense things in their community.
In the midst of all the crime, many youth in the same area don’t feel comfortable confiding in the ones consistently working to keep the community safe. “Most people are kind of scared of the police because they have guns,” said Idamian. Jashaon said, “People hear all the stories about police shooting innocent people, beating innocent people, killing innocent people and they try to stay away from them.”
Law enforcement and ministers all along the Coast are hoping to fix this problem, along with many others, with the start of the Gulf Coast Clergy and Police Partnership. Pastor J.L. Franklin with Morning Star Baptist Church said, “It affects us all. It’s time for us to act, to make a difference, make an imprint, and make an impact. We can’t save them all but we can do better than what we’re doing.”
The group hopes to foster a better relationship while collectively working to address the needs in the community, such as gun violence among youth.
Pastors and police officers both agree that the very first step begins in the household. Parents must be just as committed into getting youth off the streets and into positive activities. “They need that kind of call so that they can become more alert to notice and watch the activity of their children,” said Pastor Franklin.
The partnership brainstormed a variety of activities the alliance could host as a way to keep youth entertained and out of trouble. Little do they know, youth in the Gulfport community have a couple of ideas of their own. “Some Saturdays have a little fun thing for the kids, jumpy house, candy sales,” said Idamian.
Pastors and police plan to hold quarterly meetings from here on out to continue to brainstorm ways to tackle crime along the Coast.