COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) -The mayor of Columbus is planning to make Columbus a stronger and safer place to live.
Several students at Columbus State University believe Columbus is too crime-ridden.
“I used to like going to Sapo’s, but now I don’t even want to go because there was a shooting like two weeks ago,” said Hays Slaughter.
Christian Bradley described feeling unsafe around campus. “I know a few months ago, one of my friends had an encounter on the way back to her dorm,” Bradley said.
Some politicians, civic leaders, business owners, and community members are taking action.
Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson recognizes how many residents in the community do not feel safe. He wants to help.
“[We are] trying to fine-tune our preventative measures,” said Henderson. "We have to get better as a community at creating programs and funding programs that can give support to young people so they don’t have to go the way of negativity activities.”
He is eager to share a crime prevention plan, which he previewed at his first State of the City Address Thursday afternoon.
“We’re going to focus on violent crime, focus on housing, focusing on health, and focusing on workforce development," he said.
Jerry “Pops” Barnes, a Columbus city Councilman, loves Henderson’s stance on crime prevention.
“What the mayor is doing is thinking long-range. And he’s addressing the root of the causes," said Barnes.
Henderson intends to form a task force for each initiative this year, which will also aid in reducing the 21 percent poverty rate.
Henderson is confident his plan will allow law enforcement, churches, organizations, and community members to work in unity to create a stronger tomorrow for Columbus.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for our citizens to engage in conversation about what is going on in our community,” said Amy Bryan, the community and leadership development executive and vice president at the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce.