City Of Florence Calls For Cease Fire Movement

by Rev. Leo Woodberry
Rev. Leo Woodberry Rev. Leo Woodberry

On Monday, May 9th, 2022 citizens and representatives of various organizations, and churches gathered to call for more immediate action on the escalating gun violence in the city and county of Florence.

Several months ago, New Alpha Community Development Corporation and several partnering organizations made a recommendation to the City Of Florence to look into establishing Cease Fire Zones on city property as a way of leading and providing more opportunities to bring people to the table, and to come up with positive ways to reduce the gun violence in our city and county. Anthony Hall, of the Democracy Center said, “Today, the City Council of Florence has failed to take the leadership that we have given them.” The previous recommendation asked the city to establish cease fire zones on city property and to take the lead in forming a group to address the escalating issue. So, we the people of the City and County of Florence, have decided to establish a Cease Fire Stakeholder Group.

Of course, we hold the door open to partners. We hope that the city will participate, as well as law enforcement, businesses, and many others. On May 14, 2022 at 10:00 am, we are calling for a mass City and County-Wide Rally. It is a call to create Cease Fire Zones and Stakeholder Groups to be established to reduce the violence in the City and County. We're hoping to look at using new approaches such as: an interconnected network of video camera systems, as used in Atlanta, and provided by companies like Flock. We would like to look into having gunfire noise detection systems, that at the sound of gunfire immediately connects 911 and dispatches the police to the site where the gunshot was heard. We are working on a tool kit and training session so that faith leaders in all of our churches, parents, teachers, grandparents, mothers and fathers can teach their children how to use techniques for non-violent conflict resolution and resisting peer pressure. We also will be working on a tool kit to help deal with the thousands of people who are suffering from stress during the pandemic. People who have lost loved ones, have become ill with COVID, or have had financial difficulty are all elements which we feel may be contributing to the violence in our city.

We are also calling for all citizens of Florence County, as well as surrounding areas to join us on Saturday, May 14, 2022 on Oakland Avenue. The purpose of this gathering will be to have all citizens call for the establishment of Cease Fire Zones immediately, as well as bring together more participants for the Stakeholder Group. Let us remember that every time there's a shooting or killing in the city of Florence, it impacts every one of us. It is time to move beyond having to fear for the safety of our children, or spouses, or other family members. Let us come together in unity and strength. To make a difference in the City, County and Region that we love. For additional information, please feel free to reach out to us by calling: (843)-799-0740.