ORLANDO, Fla. – In the city of Orlando, recent data released by the police department shows shootings are on the rise and people who live in the city say they’re sick of the violence.
Rod Love reacted Wednesday after the rise in shootings this year across the city of Orlando.
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“It makes me terribly upset,” Love said.
Police said there have been 227 shootings, including 73 victims, from January 1 to June 10 of this year -- compared to 183 shootings, including 58 victims, from this time last year.
Among the victims were 16-year-old Tavyiah King, who was killed last month, and 16-year-old Antrevus Cantlow, who died in April.
“My words to the people who are doing the shootings: You’re taking lives,” Love said.
Love was the co-chair of the Orange County citizens safety task force formed last year aimed at reducing gun violence. They came together to incorporate and invest into more programs, but Love said enforcement and prosecution are key, too.
“It’s a must. We’ve got to also talk about the consequences for those people driving around doing those shootings,” Love said.
The rise in shootings is also why Marcus Brown is working to get results through his mentoring program, I Hope Mentoring in Orlando.
“I push this message. Just be you. It’s cool being that nerd. You don’t have to show flash money. You can go get a job, you can stay in school. You can pull your pants up. I try to make everything cool,” Brown said.
Brown grew up along Mercy Drive and is now tasked with keeping children and teens on track. He’s even hosting a bridging the gap event Saturday with the Orlando Police Department.
“I was once one of those kids. I needed to put the gun down and I put it down and I changed my life and hopefully I can be a person who can do that for others,” Brown said.
Read more about his mentoring program here.
News 6 asked Orlando Police Chief Orlando Rolon for an interview Wednesday and was told he was out of town and wasn’t available.
Despite the rise in shootings, the Orlando Police Department does have programs in place to reduce crime and build relations and sent this information about officers’ efforts:
- OPD continues to work closely with Mayor Orlando Dyer’s office through his Community Trust and Equity Initiative. The Orlando Police Department has been involved in two reviews, the Bowman Group and with Dr. Nelson through the Center for Law and Social Justice at Bethune Cookman.
- The Community Response Team launched in early March.
- District Youth Liaisons launched in 2020.
- The Neighborhood Patrol Unit relaunched in November.
- The Community Relations Division’s many partnerships include, but are not limited to Faith and Blue, National Night Out, Grow Central Florida and Advance Auto Parts Gift Cards.