JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Several local pastors held a community meeting Monday night, where they rolled out the first steps of a crime reduction plan that they're calling PROJECT C.R.I.M.E.
It's the next step of a seven-point plan that has pastors calling on the community to help them push the plan into all of Jacksonville.
The pastors said that it's a mentality and that enough is enough and violence has to go. Now they're taking a look at the areas with the highest crime and from there they plan to hit the streets.
"I think if we give them a platform, if we show them that there is a place that you can come and air your differences and learn how to air your differences without the violence, then they will start to come out," concerned citizen Eugene Wilson said.
Wilson said that the root of the problem isn't young people, but the root of the solution involves everyone, which is why along with other concerned community members, he came out to hear the details of the seven-point strategic plan.
Pastor Mark Griffin introduced the plan as PROJECT C.R.I.M.E., an acronym for Clergy Responding to the Indifference of the Murder Epidemic.
Griffin said he doesn't believe crime numbers are as high as they were when he originally introduced the plan in 2006, but he said in order for numbers to not get that high again, the following changes must be made.
1. Bi-monthly neighborhood walks starting in the highest crime area, which they said is Grand Park
2. Direct involvement with the youth and involvement in Operation P.I.E
3. Collaborative efforts from business, faith and community groups
4. Strengthening the relationship between law enforcement and the community, highlighted by quarterly community festivals
5. Public service announcements about important issues
6. Community safe zones
7. Community forums on a regular basis
Griffin said there also needs to be more young people, like youth pastor Tijuan Kimbrough, getting involved.
"We're recognizing that it's going to take young voices and young gifts and young people like myself that are in the community to reach them. They want to hear from different voices today. They want to hear from voices that they can relate to, so I'm just blessed to be here looking forward to making a huge impact," Kimbrough said.
There has been no word on when the community walk in Grand Park will be, but a schedule is expected that will have community forum dates in the near future.
Griffin said that after every community walk, they will also write up a detailed report of their findings.