COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) -This weekend Affluence Family Services held their special Community Rally in hopes of connecting the community and making it safer for all who live here.
Leaders say the event was all about opening up conversations between local authorities and the community in order to help reduce unsolved crime rates in our area.
Montric McClendon’s brother was murdered in 2017 and his case remains unsolved to this day. is the founder of the organization McClendon says she founded the organization to create avenues for the public to feel comfortable reporting crime to local law enforcement agencies.
“I honestly thought when my brother was killed that somebody was going to go to jail, but it didn’t work out like that. When my brother was killed I found out that there’s actually a lot of unsolved homicides,” said McClendon.
According to the Columbus crime rate table, the City’s coverall crime rate is 58% higher than the average crime rates in Georgia.
McClendon invited local officials like Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson and representatives from the Muscogee County Victims Witness Program to join in on the panel discussion.
“I think it’s important for people to understand that police officers and law enforcement officers live in this community too. They take their job very seriously about keeping you safe, but you’ve got to help them so that they can help you stay safe within this community,” said Mayor Henderson.
Many in the community recognize that there is an unfortunate divide between citizens and authorities in Columbus.
“There’s some kind of distrust and we want to kind of get to the bottom of it find out what it is that you know. If we could get our younger kids to buy into the community- this is their world," said Victims Witness Program member Shelly Hall.
Law enforcement has stressed that their investigations have been getting hung up on the street rules of “no snitching,” but they are encouraging residents to speak up on what they see so that people like McClendon and her family can be at peace.
“I remember saying ’I know you all know who killed my brother and somebody needs to talk because if it can happen to me, it can happen to you’ and now its happening to a lot of people,” said McClendon.