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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