City Hall responds to public safety concerns after 100 Birmingham homicides

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – How to stop the violence in the city – this is what brought community leaders together to hear from neighbors. It comes as homicides in the Magic City top 100.

Hosted by Jefferson County Commission Pro Tem Lashaunda Scales as part of its Let’s Talk series, it was an opportunity to hear concerns but also help people understand the process for calling 911.

“Whenever you’re in crisis, every second counts and we want to make sure that as taxpayers, the people who need to respond to us respond to us and hear our concerns,” Scales said.

A dozen elected leaders, from local officials to state officials, were front and center to listen.

“They think they’ve been overlooked, left out of the process, and in the end it just doesn’t work,” Scales said.

Roebuck Ward President Becky Wallace said things have been rolling back since she’s lived in the community for 25 years.

“We keep asking, we keep reporting, but we keep getting into situations where the city should be responsible for this,” Wallace said.

No one from the City of Birmingham was at Monday’s meeting to hear their concerns directly to hear those concerns on Monday.

“We can’t stop our enemies,” Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr said. “If you want to do something about it, you have to change the trajectory of people’s lives. But when you do something unorthodox like that, you have to have the courage to face the backfire.

Officials at the town hall said they were committed to helping in any way they could in their duties.

“We must have the cooperation of the community”, 10e Circuit Court Criminal Division Judge Hon. said Michael Streety. “We just can’t do it on our own.”

Streety said everyone should come together.

“If the old ways don’t work, then let’s change them,” Wallace said.

City leaders, including Mayor Randall Woodfin and Chief Scott Thurmond, have been invited. Scales says Thurmond had to get permission from the mayor’s office to attend and that didn’t happen.

Scales distributed packets with all of the contact information for people in leadership positions across the state who oversee people in his district to better connect them to help.

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