Homicide Task Force Report: Conclusion
What Must We Do?
We must make violence reduction a community priority before we lose many of the next generation to the culture of violence.
Who Must Do It?
The entire community must have a stake in reducing violence and ultimately, the number of homicides in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Homicide reduction will not be a reality until the entire community embraces the philosophy articulated by Task Force member Ken White who says, "This is my community; I am still responsible for everything that goes on."
Where Must We Do It?
We must do it in every segment of the community-from city hall, neighborhoods, and schools to houses of worship, social service and non-profit agencies, businesses, and the media.
How Must We Do It?
By harnessing the resources, heart and will of the entire community to unite in stopping the violence.
When Must We Do It?
We must do it now. We cannot say it is too difficult a task and decide to do it later. As Task Force member Marsha Goodenow says, "Later has come!"
Why Must We Do It?
Task Force member Dr. Paul Friday describes the current situation:
"Violence in our community is analogous to an overflowing bathtub. It is critical and essential to mop up the water (criminal justice response) but it is even more important to turn off the faucet (prevention). We have to do both but unless we invest in the known social solutions, the problem will persist and we will spend more in the end to clean up the mess than we would if we invested the time, money and energy to stop the flow. Charlotte has a choice: Do something comprehensive or accept and own the violent crime rate we have and stop complaining about it."