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Montgomery creates new department to address crime in city

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 8:41 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Local barber Lee Giles says he is tired of what he calls senseless violence happening in Montgomery that is causing innocent people to get hurt.

“We just had an incident at the club over by Cross Creek and the young lady was hit because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Giles said.

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed says one act of violence is one too many so he’s creating another resource to combat violence in the city.

The city’s new Violence and Prevention Department will use data and those in the community to help better understand trends in violence and create solutions.

“They are not police officers, they’re not in uniform. They are from the community, that the community trust,” Reed said.

Reed says he has seen this method work in larger cities, and he’s hoping it will do the same in Montgomery by improving the safety in neighborhoods.

“It also helped to build the morale of people who did not feel a connection to city hall, who did not feel a connection to the police department,” Reed said.

He says this will not solve all issues, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Giles believes continuing to have mentorship in communities will also help.

“Like they say it takes a village to raise a child so we need the whole community as a whole and just to show these kids out here that there is hope besides the streets,” Giles said.

The current budget has three people approved to work for the new department, but Reed hopes more people can be hired in the department.

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