BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) — Reducing violence is a goal for cities all across the state of Alabama. On Tuesday, Birmingham police held a meeting with city leaders to go over a strategy that they have been working on for 8 months.
The city of Birmingham has teamed up with John Jay College of Criminal Justice to analyze every shooting that has taken place in Birmingham over the past 5 years. The goal is to stop the violence, but they are going about it a little differently. Instead of just going after the shooter when a crime happens, the police department will be going after the whole gang.
Police Chief A.C. Roper, along with Mayor William Bell and District Attorney Brandon Falls, met with 22 young men that this data had pinpointed as being the most apt to commit a violent crime.
“I think this is the first time for some of these young men to have community members look straight in the eye and say you must stop the violence” says Police Chief A.C. Roper. “Quite often we have the memorials and vigils after the fact, that’s after the homicide, but this is proactive in nature and we believe this is a strategy that will assist us in the long run”.
The 22 men they called in on Tuesday are part of violent gangs.
“If they are the first to kill, if they are the most violent group, we will come after not only those persons as individuals, but the entire group with anything and everything we can use under the law to put them in jail, put them in prison, to make their lives difficult” says District Attorney Brandon Falls.
Chief Roper says they plan on having these meetings with young men in these violent gangs periodically.