BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — In an effort to help prevent the ongoing gun violence throughout Birmingham, a group of pastors came together to host a march Saturday afternoon in the Kingston neighborhood housing authority.
A rise in gun violence has continued to be an issue throughout the city of Birmingham. The police department has had over 50 homicide investigations just this year. But Saturday’s march was an example of organizations rallying around each other to help promote change.
From Birmingham pastors to law enforcement officers and city leaders, these pillars in the community all have one mission.
“All of us working together for one goal and that is to stop the violence,” said Captain Shelia Finney, Birmingham Police Department.
Captain Finney is part of the Birmingham Community Safety Partnership Division. She says her outreach efforts have been focused on the 14 Birmingham housing developments.
“We protocol every day, we conduct knock and talks, we’re doing field interviews, we’re doing community policing, just getting out talking to the people and getting boots on the ground and talking to people about what their concerns are,” said Captain Finney.
The police department isn’t tackling the uptick in gun violence alone. The organization Clergy Concerned for the Community is also expending resources, going door to door in the Morrell Todd Neighborhood.
“We believe we can save this city through Jesus Christ who is heading all of our organizations and is leading us to peace,” said Rev. Dr. Gregory Clarke with the New Hope Baptist Church.
“As you see pastors are on the ground. We are marching together to make sure our young people know that someone cares about them,” said Pastor Harold Bass, with the Olivet Monumental Baptist Church.
Pastor Bass says his long-term goal is to focus on creating more programs for students in the community after graduation
“Educational locations like plumbing electricians all of that type of stuff needs to be back in our city schools to give our young people an opportunity to be gainfully employed coming out of high school,” said Pastor Bass.
The Clergy will be meeting with the mayor, city council and school board in the next few weeks to continue to look for ways to prevent the ongoing violence.