MVP discussions to turn into programs and new technology in Macon-Bibb
Violent events continue as county leaders try to learn how they can suppress violence in Macon-Bibb.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Violent events continue as county leaders try to learn how they can suppress violence in Macon-Bibb.
“Unfortunately, you hate to say it, but it’s not surprising,” Commissioner Raymond Wilder said Friday. “These young teens have minor conflicts, and they end up turning to guns.”
According to Bibb County crime reports, the county has seen six homicides since starting the Macon Violence Prevention program.
Some shootings or acts of violence have even happened while MVP discussion forums were being held.
Mayor Lester Miller says this is a research period, and the real work will begin soon.
“We can’t go into these neighborhoods and tell them what’s best for them,” Miller explained. “We want to hear real solutions from them and that’s what we’re working on. In the next probably 30 days we’ll start working on our strategic plan. We’ll have a third party come in and facilitate that, and then we’ll release the plan for everyone to see.”
District 3 Commissioner Elaine Lucas says she understands talking doesn’t always solve issues. However, she says this is only the beginning.
“We’re not going to get anything done by just talking, and I think what people are committed to using the resources we have, financial, personnel that have experience in mental health issues and how you reduce violence,” Lucas said.
The discussions are being used to collect data about how violence impacts communities. Once the discussion forums are finished, Mayor Miller says his administration can use the information to further determine their plan of action. County administrators are already having meetings about new technology to help reduce violence and police response times.
“We met with ‘Shot Spotter’s, which is one of the technologies we’re thinking about bringing in,” Miller said. “We had a demo for our entire team of about 31 people, and we had a chance to view the demo, ask questions, and get all the data we’ve collected for Macon-Bibb County so we can map out the areas that they think would be the best use for Macon to detect gunfire.”
Miller told 41NBC earlier this month that the county will use money from the American Rescue Plan to fund change.
“We’ve been designated that,” Miller said after a July 15 discussion at Macon Mall. “We’ve been waiting on the guidelines. So far, we’ve set aside about $2 million for Violence Interrupters as part of our Macon Violence Prevention program. We’ll let the community participate in that and let us know how we can come up with solutions together, and we’ll be willing to fund those.”
To get involved with the MVP effort, visit www.maconviolenceprevention.org.