Greenville Town Hall Stresses "Family" Is Key In Stopping Violence

By: April Davis
By: April Davis

A community in the east is taking action after a rash of shootings and violence has plagued their neighborhood. While Greenville police say gangs are to blame for the recent crimes, community members say there's another factor at play.

Almost every person that took to the podium at a town hall meeting Thursday night said while the gang bangers and drug dealers may be committing the crime, others are also responsible. More than a hundred Greenville residents attended to discuss the recent spike in crime.

James Daniels who grew up here many years ago wanted to know one thing from the crowd.

"How many parents are here?"

A room full of people watched as dozens of parents stood up.

"Parents are missing. If you don't have any discipline at home, your kids are going to do this. There's nothing that we should be excited about other than we have crime in our neighborhood. If our parents don't do their job we can expect this," said Daniels.

It seemed to be the theme Thursday night.

"My parents taught us when I came along we did what she said," commented one man.

Greenville Police Chief William Anderson who sat in the packed crowd said earlier in the day at a press conference its the parents who are unaware of their children's behavior that he needs help from.

"To that grandmother, mother, or aunt- bring that individual down here we'll be glad to talk to him about his affiliation maybe she should look at his Facebook page," said Chief Anderson.

Anderson says social media and other ways to identify who is in what gang is vital information for people in these neighborhoods.

"We want the community to know who these individuals are. We want their mothers their fathers, their aunts, their sisters, their cousins, everybody to bring as much pressure on them as they can," said Anderson.

Daniels says that pressure will hopefully be there after Thursday night .

"Because if you have the prevention you won't need the correction. Does that make sense?" said Daniels.

If the prevention doesn't pick up, Chief Anderson says he promises one thing.

"We might not get you for the shooting your involved in but were gonna get ya." said Anderson.

Anderson says although no one has been arrested for the shootings, 35 criminals have been taken off the street since they started a gang suppression plan.

Anderson says they now have added a hotline for west Greenville residents that see any gang problems or concerns.The hotline number is 329-4949. Police say if it's an emergency situation to always call 9-1-1 first.


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  • by Jeanne on Jul 22, 2011 at 03:25 PM
    "To that grandmother, mother, or aunt- bring that individual down here we'll be glad to talk to him about his affiliation maybe she should look at his Facebook page," said Chief Anderson." A VERY telling remark....He didn't mention FATHERS, UNCLES or GRANDFATHERS.....where are the men of these children? The Chief didn't mention the males because he knows most of these kids come from one parent families. Women, stand up and respect yourselves. Don't have children until you have a ring on your finger; then maybe children will feel loved and not look to gangs as their "Family".
  • by rl Location: bear grass on Jul 22, 2011 at 02:34 PM
    Family might be the key, but the problem is the family. They don't care, and throwing all the money in the world at that problem will not fix that problem. The more they get the more they want. Wake up taxpayers.
  • by WOW Location: Beaufort on Jul 22, 2011 at 01:46 PM
    Just goes to proove you gotta include the baby-daddy , if you can find him, as well as the baby-momma.
  • by D Location: Pitt County on Jul 22, 2011 at 12:53 PM
    I taught high school students for 32 years. In recent years, I have been privy to the conversations and confessions of many young, black males who feel threatened and coerced by gang members in their communities. The peer pressure and the idea of making "quick money" in a lot of instances is SO enticing to those young men...many who seldom get positive attention at home or have the funds to buy even their basic needs. I agree the family has broken down and is one of the underlying causes of the trend toward violence, but the economy also plays a significant role. I have NO answers except for the communities and it's citizens to invest in their young people by providing wholesome, free activities/entertainment, loads of after-school programs that encourage leadership and enhance education, free parenting workshops, hotlines for young people AND their parents, and some type of financial incentive to stay out of trouble. Our prayers as a community certainly cannot hurt either!
  • by G-ville sucks on Jul 22, 2011 at 11:07 AM
    I hate this city.
  • by Mike Location: ENC on Jul 22, 2011 at 10:47 AM
    Talk about reinventing the wheel. Nothing I have read tells me anything that hasn't been known for the last 40 years. Positive change can, and will, only begin when the black community begins to place a priority on education and positive parental involvement with their children and stays with it for a generation or two. Education opens doors and allows choices to be made -- most of the young black males who are the problem we are all talking about will have a hard time reading and comprehending most of the comments being made. How can you respect other people when you don't even respect your parent/s or yourself ?? This current situation didn't just happen overnight and getting it turned around will take a generation or two to just get it headed in a positive direction. Any real change has to begin happening from within our black community and their leadership for it to have any chance to succeed. Yesterday is over, gone. Today is when we start to make a difference and recognize the truth of what has happened and quit making excuses and start making a positive difference. Change is always difficult, but without change the situation will continue it's downhill spiral. Need some tough love and an honest appraisal of what needs to be done.
  • by just great on Jul 22, 2011 at 10:30 AM
    is the families had been doing their JOB the gangs would not be here, so why do you think they care now !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by Anonymous on Jul 22, 2011 at 10:09 AM
    Like it or not this is a black social problem. Until the blacks decide to fix it there will be no change. Either they do not want to fix it , do not know how to fix it, or are comfortable where there lives are.
  • by The Original ENC Location: enc on Jul 22, 2011 at 09:51 AM
    hahahhaaaa...I about fell out of my seat on this one. In most cases with these thugs, there is no family...daddy is in jail or dead and mamma is high on crack. This is a direct reaction to the government making too many handouts. If people had to WORK for a living, they'd have less chance to be out on the streets getting into no good.
  • by George Location: Greenville on Jul 22, 2011 at 09:41 AM
    In other words....act responsibly.
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