2016 wreaked havoc in the lives of families, friends, and acquaintances who lost loved ones due to VIOLENCE in one form or another in the City of Toledo. The statistics were alarming to many of us and seemingly have perpetuated a new emotion not quite experienced daily in one’s comings and goings, i. e. A SUDDEN FEAR OF THE UNEXPECTED.
In light of the murders, domestic violence, rapes, assaults, burglaries, thefts, and out of control violence in the city, as well as across this country, several mentions are coming forth about how the subject of VIOLENCE appears to be lost, ignored, and publicly not talked about. In an effort to keep the subject and devastation paramount in the minds, the eyes, and certainly at the heart of the matter, Interfaith Gazette is reminding us of how a city that ignores the matters in the city, loses the heart of the city in the people who live in the city.
2014 numbers per 100,000 murders were 24, rapes were 231 reported, robberies were 944, assaults were1869, burglaries were 4691, auto thefts were 949. Sex offenders registered living in Toledo as of December 28, 2016 were 597. The comparison of how dangerous Toledo is to cities near showed the following. Note that the higher the number means more crime. (City-Data.com)
Ottawa Hills 52.0
North wood 249.0
In 2015 VIOLENT CRIMES reported by the FBI Uniform crime reports for Toledo was 1129 and total crimes were 5,604. Toledo Police Department Lieutenant Joe Heffernan, head of the Public Information Unit, reports that total crime rate for the year to date is down from previous year.
However, the 2016 VIOLENT CRIMES, along with Property crimes reported, were 38, with 10 homicides relating to Domestic Violence. Lt. Heffernan sees the need for community intervention to begin to focus on “real strategies” as a way to counteract the onset and continuation of violence resulting in violent fatalities. He echoes the voice of Captain Kral, as he seeks to engage healthy dialogue and work with the voices in the community on an Action Plan focusing on INTERVENTION AND PREVENTION as an approach, targeting young men and women early. He also believes that involving the schools as a collaborative partner is essential to enhance effectiveness.
Several heads of agencies, businesses, churches, groups, and other entities, recently released their concern and hopeful resolutions that would prompt minimally future devastation to the heart wrenching havoc being experienced by families almost on a daily basis due to VIOLENCE.
While these numbers are alarming, some believe that what is more alarming is the APATHY that exists, especially since many of the deaths are related to parishioners who attend church, along with the funerals that take place at our churches conducted by the Pastors of the church. And The question is asked, who cares, who speaks, why is there so much silence among the warriors? Our children are dying, our seeds are wandering and we are left wondering WHOSE NEXT?
This special to the Interfaith Gazette is an attempt to raise the consciousness about a CALL TO ACTION! What will we do and when will we do it? Community can not just be our church and our family alone. It must be the total community, which might I suggest, includes others who don’t live next door or who don’t necessarily attend our churches. Recent Church Statistics show that church goers are more likely to migrate in and not live in the neighborhood, which eludes to a lack of connectivity to the people in close proximity to the church and a stronger connection to the brick and mortar, the church. In a Biblical perspective, PROVERBS 29:18 reads “WHERE THERE IS NO VISION, PEOPLE PERISH, HAPPY IS HE WHO KEEPS THE LAW”.
The question is Toledo, Is there a VISION? IF NOT NOW, WHEN? IF NOT YOU, WHO?
This is one of several SPECIALS TO THE INTERFAITH GAZETTE that will take place over the next few issues. Should you have an interest in this subject matter, please notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org