TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Tallahassee leaders and residents came together Tuesday night to discuss solutions to violent crime in the Capital City.
Close to 100 city leaders and community members gathered at City Hall to discuss curbing crime after a string of weekend shootings. The main focus: finding a long-term solution and getting everyone in the community involved.
One local man at the meeting said, "There needs to be a residential drug treatment program in Tallahassee for females and males that's Medicaid-funded."
Another Tallahassee resident asked, "What sort of programs or initiatives are in the works to try and help these kids and their households economically to grow?"
One man is behind bars after a Friday shooting, but police continue to search for those behind two other Saturday shootings that put one man in the hospital and left another dead.
Officer's efforts to find the shooters didn't go unnoticed at Tuesday night's meeting, as the crowd gave the Tallahassee Police Department a standing ovation.
However, one message echoed throughout the meeting; it's not just about catching criminals. It's about preventing poverty and drug use, creating jobs and finding a solution that's tailored to the issues in Tallahassee.
"We talk about community policing. The police get there after the fact. We're there all the time. When you see something, say something," said City Commissioner Nancy Miller.
"The police department can't raise your kids. The mayor, the city commission can't raise your kids," said Mayor Andrew Gillum. "Their values, the difference between right and wrong, those are the elements that are really critically important and it requires the involvement of our parents."
Despite the recent rash of crime, Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo assures, it's not all bad news.
"This year so far violent crime is up about 7% in the city, but the overall crime rate in the City of Tallahassee is down 10.5% over last year; positive signs that we're working toward progress together," said DeLeo.
At the meeting, Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil said about 1,000 people return from prison to Tallahassee every year, so addressing repeat offenders also needs to be a priority.