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Valdosta Task Force raises awareness about violence in Lowndes County

People in the community visited the past in order to change the future as the Valdosta Task Force held a forum Tuesday night raising awareness about violence in the Lowndes County.
City officials, pastors, off duty police officers and retired law officials were in attendance.
Though numerous topics were discussed, the main topic was public safety.
During the public safety discussion, Bryan Childress, Commander of the Bureau of Patrol Services, focused on two main questions: What causes violence within the community, and what solutions and resources may help resolve rising crimes?
Community members agreed that among young people, the main causes of violence in Lowndes County are the lack of trust and communication between law officials and the residence, and lack of discipline within the home.
Retired Deputy Sheriff and Lowndes County citizen George Tharpe told stories about his childhood where the main focus of the community was equal opportunity and justice, with lower crime rates among the youth.
“Young people nowadays tend to base their lives on the one eyed monster (television), not being able to separate fantasy from reality,” Tharpe said.
Other citizens and retired law officials propose hiring more officers to create a larger visual effect, ensure safety is available at all times, and decrease the work load on cases.
Many community members also feel today’s youth lack self-motivation because of the luxuries most are afforded without hard work, resulting in the typical “I don’t care” attitude.
Tharpe, who grew up during times when schools were mostly segregated, feels as though he had to work harder to move from poverty into success and did not focus on petty crime but on equal opportunity and justice for all.
“The youth cannot handle the freedom,” Tharpe said.
Reducing crime within Lowndes County seems to be a concern of the community as well as law enforcement.
Childress along with other members of law enforcement seem to express the desire to make more personal connections with the community.
In order to stop crime, the city must unite and work together before it is too late for safety.

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