BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham’s Mayor Randall Woodfin joined law enforcement and prosecutors Friday announcing a new promise to crack down on gun violence that continues to plague the city, but Black Lives Matter Birmingham says it has heard this before from officials.
The group feels these zero tolerance policy campaigns haven’t been successful in the past. Eric Hall, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter Birmingham, says there needs to be a focus on the root causes of crime in the city. Hall believes one way is for the city to invest in social service programs like “Violence Interrupters” which hires community members to reach out to those who may be committing crime. These type programs include mentorships, job training and other community-based support and can be alternatives to policing.
“It’s not something that is going to be fixed overnight, but I do think with an investment in social service programs and investment in people and community over policing, we will be able to see some results,” Hall said.
Woodfin says the city will commit a considerable amount of resources to address crime as part of the Magic City Recovery Plan. That plan is supported by $148 million the city will receive from the Federal American Rescue Plan.