City leaders address ongoing gun violence in Birmingham

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — City leaders and law enforcement officials have continued to put efforts towards getting guns off the streets to help curve the ongoing gun violence.

But there’s been a continued uptick in crime. On Tuesday night, an 8-year-old was caught in a shootout in west Birmingham.

The Birmingham Police Department tells CBS 42 that the investigation on the shooting is still ongoing. But there are some city leaders that believe more needs to be done by the police department to help prevent these acts of violence.

The Ensley community continues to be a hot spot when it comes to gun violence.

“I can’t tell you how many people have lost their lives on warrior road,” said City Councilor Steven Hoyt.

Hoyt said one way to help curve crime is to increase police presence.

“Put trackers in these police vehicles because when they say they are there patrolling then we should know whether or not they are patrolling because it’s not happening well it’s not happening enough,” said Hoyt.

But Mayor Randall Woodfin sits on the opposite end saying the work begins with conflict resolution efforts.

“Especially for our younger generation, we need to teach and train them. We need families and parents that support that with their own children. We need community parents at the table a round table conversation about conflict resolution,” said Mayor Woodfin.

One organization in Ensley that is dedicated to helping young people find a life outside of crime says they stand by the mayor’s initiative.

“That’s helping our young people come up with ways to deal with violence rather than killing themselves,” said Donald Shepard, founder of S.T.R.A.P.

“To give people another outlook on life don’t be down it’s not the end of the world there’s always a brighter day like that’s my outlook and I feel like that could stop the violence,” said Brandon Holden, a collaborator with S.T.R.A.P.

But in order for community outreach efforts to continue Hoyt said they need to be included in the city budget.

“When you look at this budget this proposed budget that has nothing to drive down crime in it that’s herring and you can’t ignore it you know we talk about the world games all these things coming here and we have not yet dealt with the crime,” said Hoyt.

S.T.R.A.P. will be holding an event on Friday at the Holy Family Middle School. In an effort to help encourage kids to deal with conflict without turning to violence.

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