Belle Glade community leader on crime in city - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Belle Glade community leader on crime in city

BELLE GLADE, Fla.- - Community leaders in Belle Glade are working to keep the streets safe after an 8-year-old girl was grazed by a bullet.

Some people in Belle Glade say the streets are dangerous.

“It's very dangerous,” said Carnelle Robinson. “I try to be in the house before dark I stopped even going to church at night.”

Joe Whitest, agrees, “I don’t go on the streets at all. I stay away from it.”

The latest case, an 8-year-old girl grazed by a bullet in a drive by shooting.

“It's a reminder to us that there's still individuals out there who will perpetrate crime,” said Reverand Robert Rease, a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office chaplain and the pastor at St. John First Missionary Baptist Church.

Rease says crime is down 20 percent in the city.

“I have no problem walking the streets of Belle Glade at night, none at all.”

He believes a small pocket of gangs is responsible for most of the violence.

“We do have a few handful of people who have access to guns and their solution is to shoot,” said Rease.

He says the underlying problem is not enough jobs, and the pay is low for the ones that are available.

“Where people are scrapping to try to make a difference in their homes,” said Rease.

As for community leaders, they’re trying to improve conditions with peace walks and asking those who know about the shootings to come forward and help investigators. 

If you have any information about Sunday’s shooting, call Crime Stoppers.

Reverend Rease holds a prayer service for the community every Wednesday at Community United Methodist Church at noon.

Copyright 2015 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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