As Crime Rates Increase, Citizens Try To Look At Root Of Problem

With their hands joined in prayer, congregants of St. James Missionary Baptist Church send a message that the violence in Columbus must stop.

"People are very much concerned, it's something we are not quite accustomed to. Sin is a reproach to any nation and we are under the gun so to speak and that's not a pun," said Reverend Dr. Ralph W. Huling, the Senior Pastor for St. James Missionary Baptist Church.

According to national statistics, Columbus is not alone...violent crime is up all over the country.

And increasing numbers of murders and assaults begin with robbery as the motive.

Academics in the Criminal justice field say changing these trends will not be easy.

"You have to get to the root of the problem to begin with. It might be generations old, we may have lost a generation of young people, based on dysfunction that takes place in the family unit, in society, in the justice system, just for sheer overload," said Dorinda Dowis, Chair of the Criminal Justice department at Columbus State University.

As a citizen of Columbus, Dowis believes the police are doing the best they can under the circumstances.

Dowis says violent offenders are breaking laws more often than ever before.

She says as a community, everyone has to be aware of their surroundings and try to help out the police as much as they can, and that law enforcement can't do anything without citizen trust.

For those praying for the future of our city, the solution is simple.

"We as a society need to go back to the basics," said Reverend Huling.