Commissioner Bill Proctor reacts to recent shootings on Friday, Oct. 13



It is a shattering experience that our community has once again been visited by the misfortune of violence.  Law enforcement, city and county government, state agencies and many others are doing and giving their best effort to address and control violence from erupting from within our community.
However, Tallahassee remains one of America’s most economically segregated communities.  The economic deprivation of some and the inexistent pathways to financial and economic stability will continue to make Tallahassee a hot bed of violence and a death bed of crime. Hopelessness generates despair that induces a disregard for the sacredness of life itself.  The hopeless person cares not whether they kill or whether they are killed at a certain point of loss, self-esteem and spiritual degeneration.   Tallahassee has to redistribute its wealth and access to jobs with decent wages in order to help stem the flow of hopelessness which generates violence.

Secondly, there must be continuing efforts to diagnose, treat and manage the mental health crisis which abounds across our community. Law enforcement does recognize the serious wave of mental health issues affecting our community.  However, local government and the status quo are failing to aptly react to provide much needed services for those affected by mental health conditions.   There is no pink ribbon for mental health which everyone rallies to support.  Instead, this health issue is regarded with silence, indifference and distance.  Until our community can map out an approach to help more people, there will be a continuing pattern of violent behavior from those who otherwise are ordinary citizens.

Thirdly, drugs are abundant across our community.  Common illegal drugs are now amplified and laced with synthetic chemical addictive components that foster violent reactions in users of these substances.  The underground drug market is more lethal than ever.  Users simply do not know what they are getting because of the tampering and mixing of stuff that no one knows.  Taking illegal drugs is the same as playing Russian roulette.  If the drug does not kill you, it may inspire you to kill someone else because of the unpredictable effects.  We are in unchartered and dangerous waters.
Our community grieves for the families and victims of the recent crimes.  We cannot drop our guards or grow weary in doing good and fighting for our community to reach higher ground.