A day after Rockford leaders address the recent violence a local pastor moves forward with his plans to get more community cooperation. Pastor K. Edward Copeland asked local non-profits, organizations, even just concerned citizens to all meet in one place.
The idea is figure out what everyone is already doing in the community to better work with police and city leaders for solutions. After a rash of violence, including seven murders in less than a month, Mayor Morrissey called for community cooperation. He wants to see a similar model in place for what the school district has with Alignment Rockford. It acts as a go-between for community partners and businesses with the Rockford School Board.
"My hope and prayer for 2015 is that we can do something similar to that approach when it comes to public safety so that we hold each other accountable and we are ultimately effective in reducing violence and improving public safety," says Mayor Larry Morrissey.
Reverend Copeland wants to use the national organization, My Brother's Keeper. It's an initiative started by President Obama last year aimed at helping young minority men develop grade-level reading skills, become prepared for college and keeping all kids safe and away from violent crime among other goals. Rockford has a chapter.
"My Brother's Keeper has some specific objectives that must be met since we've taken the challenge. Since that work is transferable we are going to take the information that we've already gathered and build out what we need to build out," says Copeland.
He says at the summit they are holding next week they want to engage groups like Transform Rockford, Alignment Rockford, United Way and others to talk about the community needs.
"The summit is basically designed to bring together those parts, those moving parts that are already working to see where the gaps are, help the moving parts work together a little bit better and fill in the gaps," says Copeland.
The summit will be Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Discovery Center. The plan is to talk about My Brother's Keepers initiative and then see what else is needed for the community. Everyone is invited to attend.