Celebrate Dr. King Everyday

18 Jan Celebrate Dr. King Everyday

It’s Martin Luther King’s birthday week.  I’ve had the opportunity to join many  assembled to honor the late Dr. King.  While it is not unusual for me to attend these community events, this year has been unusual.  Instead of a simple remembrance, the primary focus of speakers has been on youth violence and how this is a community problem that only the community can solve.  The events have been a rallying point for introspection and  suggest we are not doing Dr. King  justice as bystanders during some of the most violent times in recent history.

With the record number of violent deaths, particularly of young Black men,  I have been asking myself, the City Manager, my colleagues on City Council  and our Chief of Police, “What can we do?”  The challenge is more than a police department can handle on its own. Their officers get to the scene quickly but too late to save a life. They identify suspects and arrest them in record time.  But they cannot be everywhere all of the time and need our help if we have even a sense that a crime is imminent. In most cases someone knows, but does not give the police officers the heads up required to prevent these acts of violence. This must stop.

Rather than just dressing up and going to a ceremony one day a year, we must be vigilant everyday and share what we know, confidentially, with the men and women behind the badge.  With our help, I am sure we can save lives and bring an end to this unnecessary violence.