East Alabama law enforcement agencies partnering to create gun task force

Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 8:55 AM EST
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OPELIKA, Ala. (WTVM) - Law enforcement agencies in East Alabama are partnering with one another to reduce crime in the area. During Opelika’s city council meeting, officials gave their stamp of approval to move forward with their crime fighting efforts.

Gun violence has been on the rise across the nation and recently, across the Chattahoochee Valley, multiple children have lost their lives as a result. One Opelika community activist says she’s happy to hear of even more work being done to decrease fears of those in her neighborhood.

One week into the month of February, two children on opposite sides of the river have lost their lives to gun violence.

One was a 15-year-old, who died three days after being shot on Handley Street in LaGrange; the other was 13-year-old Connor Mullins, who was shot and killed in Phenix City, the day of his father’s birthday.

Losing a loved one to gun violence is something that happened to Opelika pastor and community activist, Carolyn Morton at a young age.

“My father was killed by gun violence. I was 15 years old,” said Morton.

In 2021, her father’s death became the driving force behind her desire to decrease gun violence in her neighborhood. That year, she became the lead of the Auburn-Opelika Nonviolent Cities Project.

“And not only him, but other people in the city of Opelika that were taken by gun violence,” she adds.

Two years later, law enforcement agencies in both Auburn and Opelika are among a group of law enforcement officials ALSO partnering to reduce local gun violence.

During Tuesday’s Opelika City Council meeting, a resolution was approved for Auburn Police Department, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Opelika PD and the Lee County District Attorney’s office to form a gun task force. Together, the agencies plan to investigate, pursue and prosecute criminal activity involving firearms.

Having met with Opelika PD several times to reduce drive-by shootings in her neighborhood, Morton says she’s happy to hear Opelika P-D is continuing their efforts to keep the community safe.

“That’s what we’re looking for, everybody working together. So, I look forward to that,” said Morton.

We will keep you all posted with the latest to come following this multi-agency law enforcement partnership in East Alabama.