Are Anti-Violence Programs Working?


By Ashley Thompson

This year, Montgomery Police launched several initiatives to help curb violent crime.



This year, there have been several stop-the-violence rallies, marches, meetings, and basketball tournaments. But are these programs effective? United Dreams Executive Director and community activist Craig Boykin works with inner-city youth and tells us he's beginning to think they're not.

"The individuals that we are trying to send messages to, a very small percentage, if any, attend these events," he says. "So now I'm thinking, is it becoming a fad? a trend? something popular to do? Let's have an anti-violence something, get my name out?"

But Montgomery Police Chief Kevin Murphy says some initiatives will take some time before any results are noticed. He says he does believe, however, that Montgomery Police are building a bond with those in troubled parts of town. He references Tuesday's murder as an example.

"I think the fact that several community members came forward with information that led to this arrest, or at least the signing of the warrant is a true testimony to that relationship," Murphy says.

And he says it's not just new initiatives that will help curb violence in Montgomery, it's also the age-old 'see something, say something.'

"You're watching a drug deal go down right in front of where your kids are playing and where you live. Do you want a safe community? Call the police. Do something about it. Speak up."

Though Boykin says in some rough neighborhoods, that's not likely to happen.

"When I was growing up, you just don't tell," he explains. "If it's not your business, you don't get involved. That's just their mindset."

Something new that Montgomery Police say they will start doing is following up with the families of the victims of these homicides.



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