Following recent shootings Lexington police says it can’t battle gun violence alone

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington Police says it needs help from the community to stand up and speak out about the recent deadly shootings.

“You have to be tired of these shootings happening in your neighborhood,” Sergeant Donnell Gordon said.

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In January, the Fayette County Coroner says at least four young adults have been shot and killed. That’s four families now without their loved one.

“I’ll be the first to tell you. We can’t do it by ourselves in the police department. It’s a community effort,” Gordon said.

He said a lot of times people don’t realize they can make a change just by not staying silent.

“Once they realize that people aren’t going to stand by and take this, then that’s when we can help help change our city to become more safe,” he said.

And Lexington already has programs in place to try help reduce violent crime. ‘One Lexington’ is like a one-stop-shop for connecting community partners with government groups, like police.

“I think everybody’s desperate to help,” Laura Hatfield said.

She’s the director of One Lexington and says starting with young people is crucial.

“They don’t feel like they know how to deal with conflict and they use, they use it with a gun, so we can start right now to make that difference, even virtually,” she said.

Marcus Patrick with Urban Impact works alongside One Lexington and agrees with encouraging Lexington’s youth.

“This word empathy that is often thrown around is still crucial,” he said.

Having empathy helps turn headlines into names and people.

“There are so many things that are happening to our young people that we have to step back and say, this is not normal. And it never should be normal,” Patrick said about gun violence and the pandemic combined.

As for how to move forward, he says as a man of faith he recommends a message from the heart to save lives.

“We need to love, love ourselves and know what that feels like so that we can spread that to others,” Patrick said.

To speak up and send an anonymous tip about any crimes in Lexington you go to Bluegrass Crime Stoppers 24/7.

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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or Mharkins@wtvq.com