BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -Crime notoriously goes up during the summer months.
“We can’t fight crime just by enforcement alone. We fight crime by building relationships in the community,” says Police Chief Patrick Smith.
That was the goal Friday with Peace in the Park at Legion Field. Giving children a place to go and get involved with others is a big step towards preventing crime. Chief Smith says he’s studied the crime numbers from the past five years.
“Crime increases in Birmingham in the summer months usually between June and September about 42%.”
Especially homicides. With such a large increase over a short amount of time, it’s imperative to get the community involved now. Today’s event is one of many. Mayor Randall Woodfin tells us each event will be held in different parks around Birmingham so everybody can participate.
“I think we have to be intentional about promoting the opposite of violence. Which is peace. So everything about this is very intentional about promoting peace,” says Woodfin.
Every activity, right down to the basketball competition between police, fire, and the community kids.
“Basketball is not just a sport, it teaches teamwork, it teaches communication, it teaches strategy, it teaches how to work with others,” says Woodfin.
And it promotes relationships between community and officials, who hope folks today walk away with a message.
“Birmingham is a different place, we’re writing a new chapter today,” says Smith.
The next Peace in the Park will be June 21st, 6-9pm at Memorial Park on Sixth Avenue South.