On Monday, Reverend R.B. Holmes held the first Respect Yourself Crime Prevention Task Force meeting. The goal of the meeting was to provide a list of action items that will mitigate gun violence and crime.
Holmes discussed supporting at-risk youth and their families with the help of City of Tallahassee and Leon County leaders, criminology professors from FAMU and FSU, local mental health experts, faith-based leaders, and the Tallahassee Police Department.
“We must feel that every person who was shot or killed–that could be our son, our daughter, our neighbor,” said task force chairman Reverend R.B. Holmes.
TPD Chief Lawrence Revell – who participated in the meeting – said that TPD is in need of more officers to combat violence. Revell also said he wants to hold business owners accountable for parking lot parties that have been the cause of violence.
Reverend Holmes stated that we are not anti-police and that we should pay them and encourage them.
Revell added the community needs to speak up and that “most of our commission is very supportive.”
The task force will hold its second meeting on January 24th.
This is a full list of the task force’s action items:
1. Schedule city-wide prayer services in at-risk neighborhoods where violent crime activities have taken place.
2. Support creative crime prevention programs for funding.
3. Develop “Respect Yourself Military Boot Camp” targeting at-risk youth for alternate sentencing
4. Encourage the development of Police Athletic Clubs in public housing where crime is high and there is limited quality recreational, tutoring and mentorship programs.
5. Expand the city’s highly successful TEMPO program to include more at-risk youth and collaborate with Goodwill Industries for summer employment for at-risk youth.
6. Develop, if needed, ordinances that will prevent and prohibit violence: i.e. shootings at mass gatherings.
7. Work with at-risk families to provide jobs, if needed, affordable housing, job training and mentorship programs.
8. Support boys academies and after-school programs in at-risk neighborhoods.
9. Bring concerts, mini-fares, food and clothing drives in at-risk neighborhoods on a consistent basis; replicate the city’s highly successful “Frenchtown Rising” community initiative.
10. Expand city, county and school meetings in at-risk neighborhoods to increase community awareness of how government works.
11. Encourage faith-based and community leaders to ride patrols with law enforcement in at-risk neighborhoods.
12. Provide financial incentives to recruit young men, particularly those living in marginalized neighborhoods to join the military.
13. Develop a comprehensive All Boys Academy Pre-Kindergarten through grades 1-5.
14. Establish a working partnership and collaboration with faith-based groups in particular and the Sheriff’s Status of Black Men and Boys.
15. Advocate and support law enforcement and encourage increased compensation to recruit and retain the best and most gifted police officers available.