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Community Leaders Ready To Start Working On Reducing Tallahassee Gun Violence


In less than two weeks, a group of community leaders and local officials is expected to come up with ways to help reduce Tallahassee’s sudden increase in gun violence, and some members of the panel say they’re ready to start.

Heather Mitchell is the President of the United Way of the Big Bend, and one of the newly established 16-member Community Leadership Council on Gun Violence. Tallahassee Police Chief Mike DeLeo recently announced it was part of a five-prong approach to get feedback, after a series of officer-involved shootings in recent weeks.

“I’m just excited that he’s doing this. I think this shows a lot of about his character and his leadership and his management style to invite the community to really look at this,” said Mitchell.

Mitchell says while there are a lot of different groups, like the Boys and Girls Club, doing great things to help the community in this area, there’s one thing that makes the council unique.

“I think the Boys and Girls Club has a lot of documented evidence that shows that kids that go through their programs are less likely to find themselves in situations behind a gun, or in violent situations period,” she added. “I think there are a lot of different pieces in the community…what we haven’t had is  that collective piece where we are all looking toward ‘we want zero-gun violence, and this is what we’re each going to do, and we’re going to thread all those things together.’”  

Some ideas that Mitchell says were brought to her attention by TPD Chief DeLeo includes NOLA for life, an initiative by New Orleans to reduce violence. The council’s first meeting will be held on July 23rd.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.