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Coalition of Mayors seeks to end guns and violence

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 9:18 PM CDT
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TALLADEGA, Ala. (WBRC) - Talladega’s Mayor Timothy Ragland is joining other cities across the country to try end to gun violence.

They’re joining forces with Mayors Against Gun Violence, a coalition that focuses on on public safety and keeping guns off the street.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, this year there have been over 13,600 deaths involving firearms. Numbers like those are why the mayor believes this partnership is necessary. He wants to protect those who call Talladega home by putting an end gun violence.

The goal of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns is to keep unauthorized firearms out of the street and out of the schools. It connects current and former mayors across the country to work together and discuss ideas. They collect data on guns connected to crimes and track where the violence occurs. City officials believe this partnership along with the one with Central Alabama CrimeStoppers will assist the Talladega Police Department to better protect and serve the city.

“We have a gun problem here so we’re taking the necessary steps to get these guns out of the community,” says Seddrick Hill, Talladega City Manager.

Mayor Ragland was born and raised in Talladega and says this is personal for him.

“A lot of the people here I have known my whole life and if I don’t know them I know someone in their family. So it’s very personal with all this gun violence,” says Mayor Ragland. “So we have to do something to get it under control.”

Three new officers just finished the police academy and are now working with the Talladega Police Department. They’re looking to add more programs to build trust amongst officers and residents.

City leaders say they will continue to work and add more resources to move forward and prevent violence in the city.

“We’ve increased all of our lighting systems. We have LED lights going throughout the entire community. We’ve also invested in shot spotters for the city too,” says Hill. “Our police officer can respond immediately when shots are fired,” says Hill. “We’re following that with the camera system throughout our entire city to tie it into the EMACC system in Oxford.”

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