GREENSBORO, N.C. -- More than a dozen repeat violent offenders appeared before community leaders, law enforcement, friends and family for an opportunity to leave behind a life of crime or suffer severe consequences.
The Violent Crime Task Force, a partnership between community and law enforcement, held it's 61st call-in Thursday night. The purpose of the event is to let past offenders know that their community won't tolerate future violence and help is available if they choose to change their lives.
Capt. Nathaniel Davis, with Greensboro police, is a member of the task force and the commanding officer of the Criminal Investigation Division.
"Sometimes, offenders may feel like that they are outcasts, but we are here to let them know that they are a part of our community and there are ways for them to be productive members of our society," Davis said.
Invitations were sent to people who've been convicted of at least one violent felony and have been arrested at least 10 times. For those that participated Thursday, community representatives told them crime won't be tolerated. Law enforcement officials informed them that any further violent behavior will be prosecuted quickly and fully, while family members listened.
Offenders also got the opportunity to tell the panel what resources they could use to help them get on their feet.
Greensboro police explained the call-in is part of a six-part plan to reduce violent crime in Greensboro:
- Identify repeat, violent and group offenders.
- Vigorously prosecute those who are involved in violent or serious criminal behavior in state and federal court.
- Notify those identified that it is time to stop the violence.
- Assist those who want to change their lifestyle.
- Aggressively respond to further acts of violence (neighborhood responses).
- Evaluate and repeat the process, making changes as necessary.
Since 2000, the task force has delivered the message to 985 people. Approximately 86 percent of those who participated did not commit another prohibited violent offense.