Lynchburg Police address community violence concerns

Lynchburg stinger

LYNCHBURG (WSLS 10) – Police and members of the Lynchburg community came together Monday night following a string of violence in the area.

Many people are concerned especially after a shooting this month in a neighborhood park.

Just a few weeks ago, the neighborhood surrounding Younger Park was rocked by gunshots.

Alfredia Robinson says she thought living near a public park would be an asset for her and her daughter.

That was before a string of violence struck her neighborhood.

“When you hear shootings, in your home, you don’t know what to do. It’s scary,” said Robinson. “My child can’t go to the park. She’s a teenage girl, she needs to get out of the house, but I can’t let her go back there to the park.”

She and dozens of neighbors attended a community meeting Monday night to see if anything could be done.

Police say, they’ve already started to address the issue with a new Community Action Team.

“We had a lot of citizens call into parks and rec and into the police department concerned over the last couple shootings in the younger park area, so we went out in the area and just talked to 20, 30 people that are near the park,” said CAT Member and Lynchburg police officer Jeffery Rater.

Robinson was one of those people police visited.

She says she’s happy to see them around, and hopes they do more.

“I’d like to see them frequent the community, have a friendly presence, walk door to door to speak,” said Robinson.

Police say that kind of feedback is exactly what they were hoping to hear.

“If we can get the community involved and to trust us, they’re going to let us know what’s going on in the neighborhoods. There’s nobody better to know what’s going on in the neighborhoods better than the citizens that are living there every day,” said Rater.

Robinson says she left Monday’s meeting with a feeling things are going to change.

“It gives you hope, it gives you hope,” said Robinson.

Within a year’s time, Robinson hopes that these new police initiatives make her neighborhood safer for her and her daughter to live.

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