CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Monday night, the City of Charlotte plans to discuss their SAFE Charlotte plan created to combat violent crime. The council unanimously voted on the plan last year, which was the deadliest year in Charlotte's history.
The SAFE Charlotte plan looks at this increase in violence as a public health issue. Organizations who work to promote nonviolence say the city needs to step up in a big way this year to get a handle on it.
"If we don’t change some things we’re going to continue to see the same things,” Sevhn Doggette, the founder of the nonviolence organization MM2K, said.
Doggette said the community as a whole needs to get serious about tackling the city's increase in violence.
"We can't do this by ourselves," Doggette said. "MM2K, we can't do it by ourselves and other non-profits, we need the city to be on board."
According to the city of Charlotte's crime dashboard, the number of homicides and aggravated assault with guns both shot up last year.
CMPD estimates homicides went up by 18% and aggravated assault went up 29%. Officers say they found more offenders were in their late teens or early adulthood.
"This year we need to dedicate a lot of our time to interacting with these young people out here," Doggette said.
The SAFE Charlotte plan addresses that specifically, looking into programs designed for at-risk youth and dedicating $1 million for nonprofits working in violence prevention.
"The funding would definitely help, the overall things that we need I've pretty much been doing that out of pocket," Doggette said.
Doggette said the problem isn't just financial though, but the lack of city presence at non-violence events.
"I didn't feel that there were enough higher officials involved," Doggette said. "We need you all, this would show that you care about what's going on in our city."
The SAFE Charlotte plan also makes improvements in policing and addresses more systemic issues that look to boost the community as a whole.