Anti-violence volunteers rally, canvas Midtown

County Executive Mike Sanders addressed volunteers at a rally against violence in Midtown yesterday.

COMBAT volunteers gathered in Midtown and marched into neighborhoods to spread the word of a Jackson County anti-violence program.

The “Step up, speak up; Don’t Look the Other Way” effort that started in February has already greatly increased the number of calls to a COMBAT hotline, said Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders.

Volunteers and staffers go through areas handing out yard signs, door hangers and posters and distributing information on the many programs offered by COMBAT, which is funded by the county anti-drug sales tax.

Getting witnesses to come forward and report crimes has been a constant problem and the new effort mirrors the successful “Silence is Killing us” program that about six years ago helped double the number of calls to the TIPS hotline.

Sanders spoke to the volunteers as they gathered to go through neighborhoods.

“This makes a huge impact, real people putting out yard signs, knocking on doors,” Sanders said. “This is a step when we begin to take our community back.”

The $80,000 program funded this year by the ¼ cent anti-drug sales tax is expected to continue indefinitely, he said.

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