Cure Violence hosting community meeting tomorrow in Columbus

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 8:07 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The 53rd homicide investigation of the year remains underway in Columbus following a weekend shooting.

A city-supported initiative aimed at curbing violent crime in Columbus wants more input from the community. The ongoing violence is the major reason the city contracted with a community-based program focused on lowering crime rates.

Tomorrow, Cure Violence will host a community meeting for those in areas deemed at greatest risk for violent crime.

“What we identified was over a five-year trend. Most murders and homicides occurred in those zip codes 31903, 31906 and 31907,” said Reggie Lewis, co-founder of Cure Violence.

Some people who live and work in these communities believe there is a need for positive programs for children and teens.

“The solution is to open more gyms, more mentoring, and doing more things for the community,” said YMCA Coach Jermaine Billingsley.

“The lack of opportunity is plaguing the community right now and that leads to the violence that we see” said YMCA Coach Edmund Peabody.

Lewis says his group has spent most of the year conducting research on violent crimes. Now, the group is ready for its next step.

“We are partnering with Piedmont hospital, Pastoral institute, partnering with Muscogee County Schools. We are partnering and actually did an MOU with United way,” said Lewis.

The City of Columbus plans to allocate $500,000 for Cure Violence, however, Lewis says that money has not been distributed. The money will not be budgeted until the group is given further approval from the Columbus City Council.

Tuesday’s meeting will be at 6:00 p.m. inside of the Frank Chester Recreation Center on Benning Drive in Columbus. The meeting is open to the public.

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