City working with Milwaukee churches to tackle violence

NOW: City working with Milwaukee churches to tackle violence

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – Mayor Tom Barrett is spreading the message of peace and violence prevention as he spoke at several Milwaukee churches for the annual Ceasefire Sabbath.

Mayor Barrett spoke to the congregation at Abundant Faith Church of Integrity about violence prevention Sunday. He said homicides are down about 25 percent from where they were a year ago and non-fatal shootings have gone down 32 percent. But, there’s still a lot of work to do.

“We're losing too many young men and women in this community to violence,” Mayor Barrett said.

Mayor Barrett said that churches can help combat gun violence in the city.

“I want you to know how important it is for me to have church leaders and church communities involved in this effort,” Barrett said.

The mayor believes places of worship may be able to reach more troubled youth than the city.

“I realize young men getting in trouble aren't sitting by in large in church on Sunday morning's, but their mothers might be, or their grandmothers or dads,” Barrett said. “Letting them know how important they are in this effort to making this a safer city I think goes a long way.”

Pastor Patricia Saffold said gun violence is impacting too many people in Milwaukee.

“It's hard, it's hard but at the same time we have to take ownership and responsibility,” Pastor Saffold said.

Pastor Saffold believes that means working with the community inside and outside of the church.

“It's your block, it's where you live. If you see something say something and don’t be afraid to do so,” Pastor Saffold said.

Mayor Barrett believes a close relationship with local places of worship will help tackle violence in the city.  

“The more we get the community involved,” Barrett said. “The stronger we will be.”

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