Birmingham mayor: Violent crime is a public health crisis

Is violence a new public health crisis?

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Violent crime in Birmingham should be declared a public health crisis, according to mayor Randall Woodfin.

Mayor Woodfin shared this opinion during his state of the city address this week, which came only a few days after a Birmingham police sergeant was shot and killed, and another officer seriously wounded.

Last year alone police got 2,000 guns away from criminals, but the violence is still continuing.

Mayor Woodfin says enforcement is just one part of fixing the problem. Like any health crisis, he says additional resources are needed.

“Just as if it was a food shortage or some form of disease epidemic or outbreak, we would respond. We would activate resources in a different way,” said Mayor Woodfin.

In this case, that means focusing on prevention as well as re-entry programs.

“A lot of times crime is a cry. It’s a cry for help. It’s cry for love. It’s a cry for attention. It’s a cry for affection. And what the mentor is able to do is step in and be that voice or that shoulder that a young person can lean on,” said James Sutton, Dannon Project Mentor Coordinator

If you want to mentor with the Dannon Project you can call 205-202-4072, or email mentoring@dannonproject.org.

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