MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Local church leaders in Bibb County are working together to try to defeat crime too.
Sheriff David Davis spoke at the council of clergy about what the sheriff’s office is doing to prevent crimes.
“We’ve got to get up and make changes,” said Betty Slater, a Macon resident.
Slater was one of the few dozens at Macon-Bibb County Council of Clergy February meeting.
“There is so much to do in this community and we can not just leave it up to public officials, the police department, the ministers in this community,” said Slater.
Slater isn’t any of those positions, but she is a resident who’s concerned about the crime.
“I look at those statistics, at those photographs, about 90% of the people who are perpetrating crimes and being killed are people of color, my color,” said Slater.
Sheriff David Davis and other members of the Sheriff’s Office presented the latest crime stats to the clergy.
“To kind of put it all into perspective as to where we really stand on all crimes as well as what we’re doing at the Sheriff’s Office to address some of these issues and what we can enlist the community to do because this is a community issue,” said Sheriff Davis.
Statistics show that the overall crime rate was higher in 2016 than in 2017, but there were more homicides last year. This year, the county’s at 5 homicides and community members are hoping that number doesn’t increase.
“It’s one thing to get up in front of our congregation where you’re sort of preaching to the choir,” said Macon-Bibb County Commissioner Larry Scheslinger. “It’s another thing of taking that message out into the community and find an individual as young as they may be, who have in some way feel forsaken by the community.”
The average age in juvenile crimes is 14.5. Slater thinks the community must do more to reach the youth before it’s too late.
“It’s up to us to wake up and see what it is we could do to come together, come up with a collaborative forum that will work for this community,” said Slater.
The Council of Clergy suggested creating more after school and mentoring programs. They will meet again march 6th to bring ideas forward.