City pastors, police gather in Fordham to discuss solutions amid increasing gun violence

Pastors from across the city and the Sergeants Benevolent Association worked to bridge the gap between police and community Monday.

News 12 Staff

Sep 1, 2020, 2:21 AM

Updated 1,355 days ago

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Pastors from across the city and the Sergeants Benevolent Association worked to bridge the gap between police and community Monday.
The city surpassed a milestone of 1,000 shootings Sunday, and the numbers continued to rise Monday with more incidents in the Bronx and Brooklyn.
Pastors, police and parishioners came together in a Fordham church to find solutions to try and save lives amid a summer of violence.
Vincent Vallelong, the vice president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, says he's asked reverends over the past few weeks if the city has ever tried getting them involved in community policing and bridging the gap.
"They all the say the same thing – 'No.' Have they brought the reverends in? No. Who are the most important people in the communities? It's what we have here," Vallelong says.
NYPD data shows that 1,004 shootings were logged for the year on Sunday. This time last year, there were about half at 537 shootings.
On Monday afternoon in Brooklyn, a 62-year-old man was fatally shot on Halsey Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant near a church.
Ronald Stewart, who knew the victim, says, "People need to work together, stop all this nonsense, this looting, killing, and so forth and it's time for us to love one another."
A few hours earlier in the Bronx, two men in their 20s were shot less than a half-mile from Monday's event.
As the city continues to see surging gun violence, pastors say they disagree with the City Council passing the New York City budget, which defunded the police by $1 billion.
Clergy organizer Dr. Hector Chiesa says, "We, the church, will continue to support the police department."


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