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'Stop It' reveals new ideas to end violence

8:01 AM, Apr 12, 2013   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- New research may have answers to what's causing the violence in Grand Rapids.

That research was unveiled during Thursday's 'Stop It' meeting. Possible solutions were also discussed. The research indicated a few things, like needing more opportunities for young people, better education, and more parental involvement.

The Johnson Center at GVSU collected the research. It suggested needing more economic opportunity in crime-ridden neighborhoods. It also suggested identifying juvenile gang members to have police talk to them about consequences of crimes before one is committed.

The meeting also revealed a few other initiatives, including a 'Light the Night' program where Spartan Stores and GE donated 500 light bulbs to light the streets in dark neighborhoods.

The police chief says his department and the city are also researching several grant programs including, a gun buy back where people are paid to turn in weapons they no longer use, as well as 'Cure the Violence' grants.

Leaders say it's ultimately about everyone getting involved. The "Stop It" community initiative was created in response to eight murders in December and January.

Grand Rapids Police Chief says they will also be increasing patrols during warm months when violence peaks.


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