‘Talk time is over’: Several dozen attend Macon Violence Prevention forum

Several dozen people showed up to a forum Thursday night to discuss ways to prevent violence from happening.

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Several dozen people showed up to a forum Thursday night to discuss ways to prevent violence from happening.

The forum, which took place in Macon-Bibb’s District 9 as part of a series of events under Mayor Lester Miller’s Macon Violence Prevention (MVP) initiative, was held at the Macon Mall.

Miller, District 9 Commissioner Al Tillman, District 8 Commissioner Virgil Watkins and Bibb County Sheriff David Davis were among those in attendance.

Sloan Oliver, who told the crowd he used to live in Macon but has since moved to Monroe County, asked if anyone remembered Marquavious Deshaun Wright—an 18-year-old who was murdered last month—before telling them he attended Wright’s funeral.

“The reason I went is because I want people to know that the community cares about them,” Oliver said. “When I got there, I was just floored to find out that a 14-year-old was arrested for his murder, and the thing that went through my mind was, ‘What the heck is a 14-year-old doing with a gun? And what’s he doing interacting with an 18-year-old in such a position or a circumstance that the only solution is that they shoot each other?'”

The goal is to collect ideas from the community and create solutions to curb violence using American Rescue Plan funding.

“We’ve been designated that,” Miller said. “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.”

“This is about putting our money into action,” Miller continued. “Talk time is over.”

Miller says he expects funding to arrive within 90 days.

The next forum will be held at Mikado Baptist Church, located in District 7, on Thursday, July 22. Click here for a full list of MVP’s planned events.

Follow Tucker Sargent on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Bibb County, Local News