Fayetteville community advocates, leaders hope police advisory board will help curb gun violence

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The idea for a community-led police advisory board has been in the works for years.

After last month's charter by City Council, a process is underway to find candidates to fill nine positions that will work with City Council and police to review and give recommendations on policies and practices within the department.

With homicide rates climbing higher than this time last year, local leaders and gun violence advocates hope that the new board will also help bridge the divide between police and the community.

"People will now take ownership of their communities and their neighborhoods, and they will not allow for things to happen because they will have a better relationship with the police department," said Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin

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Colvin said he understands that people in the community haven't bought into the idea that they are a part of the solution and wants this board to empower those in their communities to feel comfortable coming to law enforcement with concerns and tips to solve crimes as well as stop them before they happen.

Arry McNeill is a community advocate who is the founder of Brains over Bullets, which wants to see the community take charge in curbing gun violence.

Arry's son Antonio was murdered four years ago and his killer was never brought to justice.

She said she feels the fractured relationships and mistrust of law enforcement are only part of the issue but wants people in communities hit hard by gun violence to take ownership of their own streets and this Community Advisory Board is a start.

"You have to be human. you have to be willing to be transparent, you have to willing to be real and you have to have a passion for this," McNeill said.

Applications to be on the CPAB are being accepted until Oct. 20 and access to the application process is on the city website.

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