Tampa group launching efforts to stop violence

Adopt-a-block program is first initiative
Posted at 5:33 PM, Jun 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-27 17:33:42-04
Tampa police are actively investigating several shootings that have happened in the past week, including a grandmother who was hit and killed by stray bullet Friday. All the violence has people in some communities scared to even walk in neighborhoods.  
Despite a violent start to the summer in Tampa with those shootings, violent crimes in the city have dropped dramatically. When comparing the first six months of 2016 to the same period last year, murders are down 48 percent.
Violent crimes are down 8 percent. Breaking that down further, when it comes to violent crimes involving guns, those have dropped by 28 percent.
The New Black Panther Party in Tampa is hoping that trend continues. It's rolling out an "Adopt-a-Block" program, modeled after a similar initiative in St. Pete. Working with churches, and other local organizations, they hope more people will keep their eyes out for anything suspicious, while also offering chances for teens and young adults to improve their lives.
"We're going to come in and minister to the youth in the community, try to get them some job opportunities, something to get them out of their predicament they're in and try to deter them from crime," said Ali Muhammad with the New Black Panther Party.
"A lot of us have become dependent. If something happens, we've got to call somebody else to come do something for us. No. We have resources at our disposal. The solution lies with the people who live through this thing every day," said Life Malcolm, who lost his son to violent crime last year. 
If you'd like to get involved in the "Adopt-a-Block," program, call 813-502-0338.