Post Date: March 6, 2017
Originally seen in WJHG.
BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Encouraging peace and reducing violence are goals one local organization wants to accomplish. The Bay County LEAD Coalition met Thursday to talk about ways to make the area safer.
Members of the Bay County LEAD Coalition gathered at the Bay County Public Library Thursday to talk about safety and justice. The meeting was schedule to brainstorm ways to make communities safer.
“We don’t want anyone else killed. We don’t want children to be afraid to play outside or parents to keep their kids inside because they’re concerned about violence in the community,” Janice Lucas, Executive Director of the LEAD Coalition, said.
Lucas says the group started as a response to increased crime in the county.
“The most recent homicides and shots fired have increased the number of people in the community who want to step forward and be a part of the solution,” said Lucas.
At the meeting, the group talked about possibly forming neighborhood watch groups and teaming up with local law enforcement.
“Our community expressed a great concern last summer that we want to work with law enforcement,” explained Lucas, “and so as we’ve continued to hold these Voices Against Violence forums law enforcement has not always been able to be at the table with us and so we go and meet with them.”
Lucas has already met with leaders in law enforcement. She says she supports hiring more officers.
“That would allow the police officers to do more community policing which is a tried and true, research-based, evidence proven way of helping to fight crime in a community,” said Lucas.
Leaders with the LEAD Coalition say they don’t expect change to happen overnight, but they want to encourage locals to be a part of creating change in their own community.