Can Churches Help Stop the Homicides?

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By Ashley Thompson

This year's homicide numbers have many people alarmed -- with 18 people killed. Mayor Todd Strange is now calling on churches to help stop the violence.

Many people in Montgomery are familiar with the 'Enough is Enough' anti-violence campaign started by Pastor Ed Nettles. It's a campaign that was started to combat violence by reaching out to those in inner city communities and promoting a message of peace. Now, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says more churches should follow suit and be proactive in the fight against crime.

"If we could have the church or any other of the faith-based organizations that can own that community or really take some pride, whether it be making sure that kids in the homes have tutors, role models, fixing up vacant buildings, letting us know about drug activity..."

Pastor Nettles agrees with the Mayor saying the church needs to play a bigger part in the community.

"I would hope that every church would get involved," says Nettles. "Young people need to hear from the church as well as others in the community, to let them know that we really care about them and we're concerned with the violence that's being committed in our community."

Other church leaders are also concerned with the violence including Bishop Roosevelt Crawford who says says it's time for houses of worship to intervene.

"I believe the church has the answer to a lot of the social and moral issues that's causing the problems in our community," he says. "A lot of these kids that are committing crime, many of them are part of our churches."

So Mayor Strange is calling on those churches for help.

"There is a larger problem than just the police department," he says. "We're going to take responsibility for it but at the end of the day we need schools, we need churches, we need families, we need communities, we need all of us involved."

Mayor Strange tells Alabama news Network that more than 200 illegal guns have been taken off the streets with the help of a program started earlier this year.

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