City hosts anti-gun violence town hall

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Posted at 11:16 PM, Nov 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-21 23:16:12-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — For a lot of people in Lexington, 2022 has been a tough year. While the city says youth violence is down, when it comes to at all ages, Lexington has already surpassed the homicide record set in 2021.

"Even though we've seen some gains here, we've seen explosions elsewhere. It shows the need for an all-hands-on approach, not just with our youth, but what are we doing with our young adults, what are we doing for our older residents still impacted by the pandemic, still dealing with inflation?" said Devine Carama, director of the city's ONE Lexington program.

ONE Lexington focuses on youth violence. He, along with Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers and Fayette County Public Schools Police Department Chief Martin Schafer, have been traveling to each district in the city hosting town halls. Some of the questions are hard, with no obvious solution.

"We know there's an influx of guns in our community. What are we going to do?" one woman asked during the forum.

Others want to be here to share their perspectives and ideas.

"Change don't come overnight. We have to stay focused and don't give up," said Gregory Robinson.

Robinson came out to the town hall at the Tates Creek branch of the Lexington Public Library Monday night because he said he sees a lot of frustration in the community. He thinks parents and community members have the most impact on kids' decisions and can be the foundation of a solution.

"There's a lot of people that are involved with their kids, they just don't have an insight of what they're doing outside their home. Talking to them and getting involved communicating with your kids, you'll figure out what's going on," he said.

As the community searches for answers to turn the numbers around, most everyone agreed, one of the most important steps is to set a tone for the next generation.

"More people willing to give up the time to help one kid at a time - one spark leads off another spark and helps another kid," Robinson said.