TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Local poverty is just one of the reasons community members point to as a reason for the recent uptick in gun violence.
"People riding 'round with guns right now because they got drugs in they [sic] pocket. They need the gun to protect the drugs in their pockets. They need the drugs to get money in their pockets," explained Tallahasseean Terrance Barber.
Others point to how often people from neighboring counties bring guns from outside of Tallahassee.
"At night time, we got Gadsden County coming over, we got Jefferson County County coming over, we Got Wakulla coming over this way," said Leland Whitfield, who lives in Tallahassee.
It's a fact young people spoke up about as well.
"I don't think it's in Tallahassee," said teen Kenya Barber. "I think y'all are looking for like gangs, north-south, it ain't a lot of that going on."
Both point to a need for community policing and an increased need for youth activities.
Mayor Dailey heard the need and said, "We had a lot of great programming that we did with our youth basketball leagues that quite frankly we had to shut down because of COVID. We're coming out of this period of the pandemic where we will be able to expand those programmings, get back to where we were before the pandemic."
Overall, council chairman, Pastor Rudy Ferguson said it was a productive, solution-focused conversation.
"I heard tonight that we can still make this problem go away, we can still make our communities better."
This was just one of many listening sessions the council has planned. While they don't have a time frame just yet, they plan to present recommendations from all sessions to Chief Revell and Mayor Dailey.