Warren's Safe Neighborhood initiative targets ways to reduce violent crime

WARREN — On the same day officials announced a new program will begin this month to save young men from lives of crime and violence, Warren leaders and community members met to talk about ways everyone can get involved.

Mayor Doug Franklin, one of seven panelists at New Missionary Baptist Church on Tod Avenue Southwest, was quick to point to Richard Rollison III of Warren, whose son, Richard Rollison IV, was killed by gun violence Oct. 26, as a person who has shown his commitment to peace.

“By the grace of God, he used his grief for grace,” the mayor said, referring to the impassioned plea the elder Rollison made a week after his son was murdered, asking at a press conference for an end to a series of incidents apparently connected to an Oct. 16 killing by a Warren police officer.

“In the midst of burying his only son, God saw to use him to take men who had retaliation on their mind and use it to bring peace,” the mayor said.

But it’s important that other citizens “stand up and stand tall,” Franklin said. “The police department needs to know that the community has their back. Support the police department. Support City Hall, and support the neighborhood groups.”

At tonight's meeting, called by the Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative and Warren Neighborhood Leadership Council, the mayor called for “the end of violence and a beginning of a new day in which we all become partners in the process.”

For the complete story, read Wednesday's Vindicator and Vindy.com

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