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New group aims to stop killings on Westside
Westside residents met Oct. 27 to kick off a new campaign to increase awareness about the problem of violence in the Hilltop community.
The Westside Community Health Advisory Committee (WCHAC) sees the ongoing violence as much of a health concern as drunken driving, bicycle safety, and other major public safety issues.
The new initiative, entitled SKIP, stands for “Stop Killing and Injuring People,” but according to co-chair of the WCHAC Dru Bagley, the acronym can be reversed to mean, “Passionate Individuals Keeping Safe.”
However, either rendition of the campaign speaks to the main motive of the movement – decreasing the violence in the community.
“All those in the community are passionate,” Bagley said, adding she knows public safety can only happen with the support of the entire community.
This will be the launching of the first phase of the campaign, which has partnered the Greater Hilltop Area Commission, Franklinton Area Commission, Westland Area Commission, and Southwest Area Commission to engage the community to spread the word about SKIP through viral marketing by asking residents to distribute flyers throughout the community.
“We want to engage community residents,” Bagley said, “let them know that they can seek help.”
Bagley said this is but a first step in raising awareness that residents are not alone in their fight against street violence. That, as a community, in numbers, change can occur and individuals do not need to feel alone in the struggle to reclaim their communities.
The SKIP campaign is still in its infancy, but the current action being called upon by the WCHAC is to spread awareness a problem exists.
Bagley stated a future phase of the campaign will be dealing with trauma inside hospitals due to neighborhood violence; hopefully conveying important messages to the community through the experiences of neighbors who have to deal with violence.
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