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Community and law enforcement working together to curb recent violence in Brooklyn Park

The 21 Days of Peace initiative is a response to recent gun violence in the Twin Cities.

Driving through the intersection of 63rd and Zane in Brooklyn Park, you'll spot Dan Drury approaching people as they stop by stores located in the shopping plaza. "More than one person has come over and said, 'Hey, thanks for being out here,'" said Drury.

It's a part of initiative helping to curb recent violence, by bringing together the faith community, law enforcement and neighbors. "It's a way to bring more unity into the community so everyone like yourself and your family feel safe," said Drury, to one shopper.

The 21 Days of Peace initiative is happening in several cities, but now people like Rev. Jerry McAfee, hope it will help here in Brooklyn Park. "Last year there were a lot of shootings going on on 63rd and Zane, and this is just a continuation of that," said Rev. McAfee.

Rev. McAfee, with the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, lives in Brooklyn Park and helps with efforts in North Minneapolis. "In some areas, the crime is down 68%, Lowry and Logan is down 18% and the ministry of presence works," said Rev. McAfee.

According to a Facebook post shared by Craig Enevoldsen, the Brooklyn Park police chief, as of June, violent crime in Brooklyn Park is approximately 2% higher compared to last year. He went on to say there have been more "shots fired calls" in the past 15 months than he's seen in 30 years.

The Facebook post also said that on Monday, an outside research foundation that's been reviewing policing in Brooklyn Park will present a report and make recommendations on ways to curb violence and improve safety to the city council.

"As we work to rebuild trust in police/community relations, we also need to come together to address this gun violence. We cannot do it alone. We need help from the community and our criminal justice partners," Chief Enevoldsen wrote.

"We appreciate what you guys are doing," said Drury.

While this group says it's a community effort, they're hoping to put an end to recent violence in their communities. "What I've seen is really positive," said Danny McCollor, a retired pastor. "We enjoy doing this we are learning a lot and even if we help one person it's time well spent," said Drury.

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