National Night Out in Muncie IN calls for an end to violence

Recent murders has the community calling for peace

By Rick Yencer

MUNCIE, INDIANA (NEWS) -  Pastor Kevin Woodgett talked to the National Night Out crowd about asking for help and living in peace.

"We have to change our character to help one another," said Woodsett. "We can end the violence."

More than 100 people attended the community against violence rally Tuesday night at Canan Commons as part of a nationwide effort to reduce murder and other violent crime.

While Muncie had two murders this year, the community not Indianapolis or Chicago that has violent crime and murder every day,

But the families of victims like Robert Smith who was mistaken in a drug related shooting and Gary Barbour found dead after having sex with the suspect's girlfriend, still feel the pain of violence 

Woodgett pointed to several ways to help the community end violence, whether it was help from church, government, law enforcement or community groups like Boys and Girls Club, Motivate Our Minds or the Unity Center.

There's a new group called the Fortunate 500 that is a company of men who want to reconnect with their children and provide support and direction to families.

Frank Scott brought a dozen men to then stage to talk about how families were coming together and helping youth find direction through education and faith. 

"We have to show love to our kids," said Scott.

Mayor Dennis Tyler talked about helping youth in inner city, talking about how the non-profit Friends of Conley provided education and recreation for kids in the summer with government's help.

And the mayor put responsibility on youth to stay out of trouble and get an education to succeed in life.

Law enforcement including Police Chief  Steve Stewart and Sheriff Mike Scroggins, encouraged the community to help police crack down on crime and stop violence.

While murder and violence crime has declined recently, drug related arrests for meth and heroin have increased and continue to cause problems in the inner city.

Cornelius Dollison, whose wife Mary founded MOMs, also offered a strong message to reach out to youth and show them how to live and work together.


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