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Neighbors speak out against rise in violence in Thomasville

Posted at 4:18 AM, Jul 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-19 04:18:53-04

THOMASVILLE, Ga.(WTXL) — There were three shootings back-to-back within a week of each other earlier this month in Thomasville.

Now, it's prompting neighbors and police in the Rose City, to speak up.

Thursday night dozens gathered to talk about solutions.

"I'm so concerned about all this violence and gun violence and killing and stuff."

The spike in violence empowering those born and raised in Thomasville, like Carl Tillman, to join efforts with law enforcement to stop this alarming trend.

"Growing up here this is the first time it's ever been this bad around here. It's not supposed to be like this. We need peace," said Carl Tillman.

The community searching for solutions that can bring peace back to Thomasville.

"We need to put action in. We need to go in and we need to intervene. We need to put the footwork and the handwork in on what this community needs," said Ucher Dent.

Thursday's forum was a platform for police to tell the community they need their help to stop these crimes before they happen.

"We've already increased our patrol staffing, focusing our efforts in these high crime zone areas where these incidences are occurring. What we need is the community to be more involved and let us know if there's something they hear or see, tell us so we can come in and maybe intervene before it rises to a level of gun violence," said Major Wade Glover with the Thomasville Police Department.

Involving neighborhood watches, reporting suspicious behavior, and creating programs for youth...were bounced around as possible solutions.

"If it's something we can start with the children at an earlier age, maybe find out what age group is having this problem the most. We want to make sure that our children are safe, our elderly are safe. This is such a tight knit community, everybody is kind of kin to each other," said Veronica Scott.

And as a close-knit community they know working together is the first step toward curbing the recent crime.

Thursday's forum was just the start. The community plans to keep the conversation growing about how they can help reduce crime where they live.

If you want to join in, there will be a gun awareness rally this Saturday.

That starts at 9 a.m. on Lester Street in downtown Thomasville.