“It’s everybody’s job:” breaking the cycle of violence in our communities

Both BUILD and Lexington Police agree: breaking the cycles of violence in our communities takes a village and starts with people

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Prior to Monday night’s stabbing death of two children in Lexington, the faith group ‘BUILD’ scheduled an event Tuesday night at Central Bank Center to talk with the city about what can be done to help stop the violence in our community.

The group has been pushing the city to contract with the National Network for Safe Communities to set up its Group Intervention Program. Mayor Gorton says she’s concerned that program could damage police or the City government’s relationship with minority communities and that the program hasn’t worked in some cities.

However, both BUILD and Lexington Police agree: breaking the cycles of violence in our communities takes a village and starts with people.

“Our goal is to prevent a generation of victims to become the next generation of perpetrators. I think, I’m hoping, that’s what goes a long way down the road to really making a significant impact on the impact violence has on the community,” said Lexington Police Lt. Boyles.

According to Bryna Reed, a member of BUILD’s Violence Steering Committee, 50 percent of violent crime is driven by half of a percent in our community, but that those acts of violence impact everyone.

“Bullets don’t have zip codes. It may not affect you today but it could affect you tomorrow, and if we don’t address it, that may come tomorrow,” said Reed.

Reed says victims of violence can sometimes find themselves as perpetrators to more violence due to trauma.

“When you think about years of trauma of living in a neighborhood where you hear gunshots out your window or your door, that kind of trauma is long-lasting and affects every individual, not just the ones being targeted. It’s the people that surround them,” said Reed.

Lexington Police say ultimately, we all play a role in helping to end violence, whether through conversations with friends and family or through reporting what you see.

“It’s everybody’s job to help reduce violence. We’re the front end of it, but all we are is an agent in the community. It takes the entire community to get involved,” said Lt. Boyles.

If you see something suspicious and it’s a non-emergency, call Lexington Police at (859) 258-3600 or contact Bluegrass Crime Stoppers hotline at (859) 253-2020. You can also submit a tip anonymously at bluegrasscrimestoppers.com. If you believe the situation is an emergency, call 911.

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