Community leaders respond to Halloween violence

Bibb County Sheriff David Davis/WGXA

MACON, Ga. -- Local community leaders have responded to the Halloween violence in Macon, which has left many shocked and disheartened.

County Commissioner Al Tillman said that he thinks many people who commit violent crimes do so because they are desperate and don't have a job.

Tillman said he wants to see the sheriff's office and district attorney use money confiscated from crimes to mail flyers and information to troubled neighborhoods and wants the flyers to list options and free job training available for convicted felons.

"We are tired, we don't want to just lock you up, we don't want to just send you away, but here are some solutions and opportunities that we know work. And this is coming from your district attorney. This is coming from your sheriff," he said.

Tillman said that this would be a good way to give hope to people making a living off criminal acts, and puts confiscated money from crimes to use in troubled neighborhoods.

County Commissioner Elaine Lucas said that the problem of violence has no simple solution but she is more than willing to look for answers with the community.

"Unfortunately, in this whole area of gun violence and violence among people who most of the time know each other there is no simple solution to it so first of all, I join with the families in expressing condolences in the lost of life. We pray for those families but beyond that we want to also start to form coalitions that have as their main goal reducing violent actions among people," she said.

Coroner Leon Jones said the violence makes no sense to him.

"We've already past last year's record," Jones said. "Last year we had 20 homicides and we are at 25 this year and we have two more months to go. That is scary. I'll be honest with you that is scary. That is why my plea in the media is to ask them to put the guns down."

But it is traumatic to see a family in disarray excuse me to see two families in disarray because the perpetrator he or she is going to be caught sooner or later it is sad to see a family in disarray because they have lost a loved one to violence but for someone to get shot down that is murder that is wrong.

However, it isn't just local elected officials talking about the violence in Macon-Bibb County. Community leaders are also speaking out.

Community activists Troy Dillard and Faye Alexander said they have spoken to people from both sides of the community and they want to rally around Macon's young people.

Dillard said, "This is the worst that it's been and the generation that's out now, the younger generation is really catching it. I spoke to several of them, some gang members some just people that go to school everyday trying to live a normal life and I've heard both perspectives."

"We need to get out here and show these kids some love because they're missing it and I believe they're tired of being out here in the streets but they just don't have anything else to do. They don't have anything to occupy their time," Alexander said.

Both Dillard and Alexander are planning community forums to further help bring people together and eliminate violence.

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