LYNCHBURG, Va. – Pastor James Camm leads One Community One Voice, an organization in Lynchburg that’s taken on the challenge of fighting crime and promoting unity in the city.
On Thursday, the group wrapped up its first meeting in the new year.
New numbers released by Lynchburg police saddens members of the group.
“It’s very heavy on my heart to know that we lost those lives senselessly in the city of Lynchburg. We’re a small city and to see that many lives...” Camm said.
Lynchburg police said in 2016, there were four homicides. A year later, the number dropped by one.
But in 2018, the number nearly tripled, with eight reported homicides.
“A lot of times the police department say they think its drug related, but we’re not solving them so we don’t know some of those... rationales behind it. But we’ve got to make a change to it, no matter what it is,” Camm said.
The group believes their summer efforts helped crime go down in the city’s most crime-driven months.
From May to July last year, local leaders held weekly programs in the neighborhoods where most of the homicides happened.
Camm said during the summer months, the crime had not been that low in over 20 years.
We’re only a few days into 2019.
Camm said the group is already making plans to stay ahead of any potential threats.
“We’re attempting to try and get with those 20, 21-year-old young men and those who are considered gang members. We’re trying to see how we can empower them to find another alternative to what they’re focusing their attention on,” Camm said.
We did request an interview with Lynchburg police. They declined the interview Thursday and want to look into the numbers some more. But we’ve made plans to speak with them next week.