‘Stop the Violence’ organization addressing crime in Alexandria
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Members of the Stop the Violence organization along with city officials and other members of the community gathered at the Christian Love Baptist Center to address the crime rate in Alexandria.
In the last 30 days, the Alexandria Police Department has reported four homicide incidents, two already in 2021. The City of Alexandria reported that in 2019, there were nine total homicides in the city, with one of those being first-degree murder and eight being second-degree murders.
However, in 2020, there were 24 total homicides, six being first-degree murders, 17 second-degree murders and one justified murder.
The Stop the Violence Alexandria chapter began in 2018 to raise awareness for communities dealing with violence. Frederick Burgess, the president of Stop the Violence, said the plan is to go to the communities affected by crime and figure out how they can help.
“We will start talking to people in the neighborhoods and let them know that we are aware of the crime and what’s going on and want to know their concerns,” Burgess said.
Several members of the community showed up to express their concerns about crime and to say that they have friends and family in the neighborhoods that are experiencing crime.
Michael Graves, a resident of Lecompte, said, “I moved here in 1992 to Alexandria before moving to Lecompte. I’ve heard a lot of talk about what needs to be done in the communities, and since 1992, I haven’t really seen it. We can take it all the way to Bunkie, Cheneyville, Lecompte and Boyce because every community has the same problem and it’s not so much just the problem of the crime but that there is nothing for the kids to do.”
The Stop the Violence organization said their goals are to find safer activities for the youth in Alexandria, which includes adding more parks and activity centers. City Council members and Rapides Parish Sheriff Mark Wood spoke at the event and said that they will all have to work together to make sure that each kid is given the resources they need to succeed so they are not a victim of crime.
District 3 Councilwoman Cynthia Perry said, “These people are interested in saving our community and saving our children so that we can do better. That’s what we call diversity. We have many people that are looking to come and help us and I know we can come up with a solution to help our young people.”
Perry said she will be joining the Stop the Violence organization on a walk down Detroit Street on Jan. 23. This is the location of the most recent homicide in Alexandria.
The organization said this is just the first step of many they’re taking to stop crime in Alexandria communities.
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