Monthly community walks aim to end violence, make BR safer
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Community leaders and advocates are hoping that routine walks in Baton Rouge will bring about safer neighborhoods.
Leaders say they want to end violence in the capital region, and they say the best way to do it is just by having a conversation.
“We’re being visible, it is important to be, it’s important to be transparent,” says Cathy Toliver, a community activist.
Toliver explains that it’s also time for everyone to do something to save the city of Baton Rouge.
“I believe that us being visible is the light coming on. We’re letting the community know we are here. We are letting the community know that we are not going anywhere. We are letting the community know that we’re taking our city back,” adds Toliver.
In January of 2023, Toliver along with city leaders and Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul took to the streets of Plank Road. Toliver says they walked to some areas that have seen their fair share of violence and drugs. They shared the message to people that there is always a way out.
“It was just amazing. We were walking in the neighborhoods. We were knocking on the doors. People were coming. They were asking for prayer,” describes Toliver.
It will be a monthly ritual put on by community leaders, and Toliver will be leading the next one.
“We are going to be in that vacant parking lot. We’re going to be there at 10, Saturday the 11th. That’s where we are going to be. We are going to have the PA system out there. We are going to be giving away food,” explains Toliver.
It’s part of Toliver’s mission. She lost her grandson, Devin Page Jr., in April of 2022. Police say someone shot and killed the 3-year-old while he was sleeping in his bed.
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“I believe, and I will say this till the day I die, the person that murdered my grandbaby, if someone had checked on their mental state just to see what was going on, you could have talked with them down off the ledge,” explains Toliver.
Toliver has also created a campaign called “Help 5 Stay Alive.” As part of the campaign, she calls on the community to check on loved ones weekly. Toliver says that calling five people every week can be your way of checking on them and making sure they’re okay.
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