Preacher outlines plan to reduce Fayetteville violence
Posted November 3, 2013
Fayetteville, N.C. — Members of the faith community in Fayetteville, spurred to action by a home invasion that claimed the life of a Fort Bragg soldier Oct. 7, planned a rally Sunday to share their concerns and plot a course of action to reduce violence in their town.
In the days leading up to their planned get-together, three more people were shot and killed across the city.
More than 100 people, including Police Chief Harold Medlock, gathered at Martin Luther King Park to express frustration and lay out a plan to get guns off the streets.
Medlock said the recent spate of violence makes him angry.
"It should make everyone mad," he said. "And that's why I think you see the great level of interest and concern from this number of people that showed up."
Among them was Rev. Mark Rowden. He wants to use his role as a man of God to influence those who may distrust law enforcement.
"Everyone doesn't like the idea or they're afraid of the idea of going to the police station," Rowden said. "They'll come to clergy. I've had many in the community that will come to me."
His plan is to start with gun drop-offs at churches across Cumberland County.
He'll follow that up with a mentoring program and a crisis hotline.
Rowden promised a comprehensive plan before the end of the year to include his three goals.
Many in the crowd said they feel inspired to help bring change.
"We wanted to be a part of this rally to take back our city from the crime and the drugs," said Robert Alford. "This is just a starting point, a rally cry to the city, to law enforcement, to everybody to come together."
Medlock said he welcomed the community involvement.
"Every night I go to bed worried about what will happen overnight. I worry about the safety of our citizens," he said.