There was a Stop the Violence rally held in West Columbia Saturday morning on the grounds of the Brookland – Lakeview Empowerment Center. It included a positive and uplifting message from community leaders and speakers.
“There have been some concerns about crime in the area, and we wanted to to encourage unity and safety,” said West Columbia Councilman Mickey Pringle. He represents District Five, where the rally was held. Councilman David Moye also attended. Speakers included Rev. Charles Jackson of Brookland Baptist Church and Rev. Kenneth Taylor of Turner Memorial AME Church.
“Parents, we need you to help raise your children,” said Jackson. He talked about the day camp for more than 170 kids running from June until August at the Brookland – Lakeview Empowerment Center.
West Columbia Police officers Ronald Fair, India Taylor and Eugene Hammill were on-site. Jackson thanked them and said it develops trust to see the police when there is not a problem.
Rev. Taylor said safety in the community improves when residents report “bad” elements that come into the community. He said much of the recent crime in the area was not from local residents, but from those who came from other places. “We must dwell in each other,” Taylor said, and that means working together to make it better for everyone.
Jeff Jones with the Scooter Scott Project, based at Airport High School also spoke about the leadership programs and GED prep the Scooter Scott Project offers.
Aisha Harris with the Lexington County Youth Sports Association and Rhonda Adams, a Brookland-Cayce High School graduate who has turned away from a troubled life to promoting the positive also spoke.
A representative from Flex Fit spoke about the importance of physical fitness and health.
Coaches for the West Columbia Tigers Youth Football Team cooked bar-b-que on site for the occasion.