Community reacts to Tuscaloosa’s “Project Unity” plan

Community reacts to Tuscaloosa’s “Project Unity” plan
Earlier this week, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox unveiled "Project Unity" with a goal of bridging the gap between police and the communities they serve. The plan tackles issues like education, housing and revitalization, workforce development and youth sports. (Source: WBRC)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Earlier this week, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox unveiled “Project Unity” with a goal of bridging the gap between police and the communities they serve. The plan tackles issues like education, housing and revitalization, workforce development and youth sports.

Maddox says after the death of George Floyd and the nationwide reaction, he wants police to establish meaningful relationships within the community.

“The time has come where something has to be done,” Jerry Carter, President of the Tuscaloosa County NAACP chapter said.

Carter is looking forward to taking part in “Project Unity” especially when it comes to working with the city’s youth. It’s been a violent and deadly summer in Tuscaloosa. Some of that involved young people.

“We’re living in a time right now where if we don’t start getting a handle on some of these issues that we’re dealing with, especially with some of our young people, I just don’t know where we’re going,” Carter said.

Maddox and others are hoping “Project Unity” takes things in a new and more positive direction. Carter says it’s going to take buy in from everyone to make it work.

“Parents are going to have to get more involved with what’s going on with their children, knowing where their children are, being responsible, being accountable. The parents, the community, we’re going to have to roll up our sleeves and get involved too,” Carter added.

Maddox would also like to create a deputy chief for community policing position. Carter says that person needs to be well known and someone the community can trust.

The “Project Unity” committee kick-off meeting is set for September 16. The mayor is giving the task forces until May of 2021 to come up with recommendations.

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