Image by Flickr user alancleaver_2000
The City of Charleston has launched a public campaign in hopes of increasing community engagement to combat crime.
Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. and Police Chief Gregory Mullen announced the "Stand Up Charleston", a coalition of community leaders and residents to work with the Mayor and city staff on creating specific and deliberate action steps that will build active engagement and continuous support from city residents to help send a clear message that the community stands together and will not be idle as a few evil people attempt to harm the community.
Margaret Seidler, a community leader for over 20 years and a partner who is currently working with City staff to develop and grow leadership capabilities will chair this initiative. The initiative will have two Vice-Chairs to ensure the successful reach of the various segments of the community that are critical for this initiative. Arthur Lawrence, President of the Westside Community Association and Ryan Glushkoff, Immediate Past President of the Cannonboro/Elliottboro Community Association and member of the Peninsula Consortium (not sure if this is the correct title) will bring experience and insight to this process.
Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. said, "Today, I am asking every citizen of Charleston and our surrounding communities to commit to getting involved and not being a bystander. If we want our communities to stay strong, it is up to all of us to be partners in creating and sustaining the solutions."
He continued, "We must send the message that violence and victimization will no longer be tolerated. We must take the stance that if we know about incidents that have occurred, are about to occur, or might occur, that we contact authorities immediately and let them know so steps can be taken to arrest those who have committed violent acts and prevent others before they occurs."
Chief Greg Mullen said, "While we have experienced exceptional success using our existing programs, we can and must do better when it comes to direct citizen engagement to help us stop crime that causes senseless pain and suffering. Recent acts of violence illustrate the desire and need of the community to become an active partner in fighting crime."
Members of church organization, business leaders, researchers, victims, law enforcement officials, and citizens will be invited to join this initiative to help craft a comprehensive strategy that significantly enhances community engagement, commitment, and caring so that each can work individually toward a collective goal of shaping the future of the community.