FRANKLIN, Va. (WAVY) — One door at a time.
That’s how Franklin police, clergy and other community groups are trying to stop violence this summer. They’re going door-to-door, hoping to speak with as many people as they can before the summer ends.
“To make contact with the youth, let them know we’re here for them, let them know we’re concerned for them. We want them to have a successful school year, but better yet, we want them to have a non-violent school year,” said Franklin Police Chief Steve Patterson.
Patterson leads the way on the walks, along with members of the Brothers’ Keepers Men’s Ministry group.
“We’re trying to get to every household, to address every citizen, to let them know about the violence,” said Henri Porter of Brothers Keepers.
So far, the walks have taken place in areas that have been hit by violence. The 10 On Your Side crew shadowed the most recent walk which happened at the Forest Pines apartment complex, where one person was killed in a double shooting last year.
“Too many times, we respond to these scenes and we have parents saying, ‘Why? Why? Why?’ and in reality, we do a lot of response on the end — but maybe we could do more on the front side,” Patterson said.
It’s the kind of proactive policing that Patterson said couldn’t happen during the pandemic.
“We are making up for it. It’s gonna take time, we lost a lot of time in those two years, and hopefully we can make it up bit by bit,” Patterson said.
It might be a long road ahead — but it’s one these leaders are willing to walk for a better, safer future.
“We have to get out of the mentality that if you see something you don’t say something because you’re gonna get accused of being a snitch,” Porter said.
Check WAVY.com for the latest updates.