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New gun violence prevention initiative begins in Savannah

Updated: May. 9, 2021 at 10:59 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - “Mothers have to mother our children. Fathers have to father our children. And the village helps us to raise our children,” said Savannah Mayor Van Johnson.

Several mothers who’ve lost children to gun violence stood behind Mayor Johnson and his new gun violence prevention initiative.

“We are saying for the next 100 days, we need accountability in this community,” said Johnson.

The group pointed out that a lack of accountability and presence in children’s lives often leads to trouble.

“We’re finding, many times, that police on crime scenes, when the parent comes in, the parent had no idea of the things that their young people were involved in.”

The campaign asks parents and guardians to do ten things aimed at keeping Savannah, and its young people, safe this summer. This includes knowing who your child’s friends and their friends’ parents are, knowing what’s in their room or on their social media accounts, as well as showing your child love.

“Speak life into your children. Let them know that they are important, they matter. Because this right here is not what you want,” said Olga Williams, who lost her son to gun violence.

The campaign also asks that if you have information about a crime, you say something to law enforcement.

“Sometimes with the right tip, we might be able to solve two or three of them,” said Johnson.

Mayor Johnson also says that if parents and guardians focus on these ten action items, it can keep children from going down the wrong path.

“When young people are in the wrong places, at the wrong time with the wrong people, things happen. Bad things happen,” he said.

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