WPB to send reps to conference to stop violence

Posted at 7:29 PM, Apr 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-26 19:34:56-04

There have been dozens of shootings in West Palm Beach since the beginning of the new year.

The city is now teaming up in a new way with the community to come up with solutions to stop the violence.

The flashing blue and red lights is a painfully familiar sight for Ricky Aiken.

“I’ve lost many dear friends of mine," said Aiken.

His life has been personally impacted by some of the gun violence on the streets of West Palm Beach, “That really fueled me up to want to be an agent of change in my community.”

So far this year there have been more than 46 shootings in the city according to records request from the police department. Ricky has made it his personal responsibility to keep that number from going up.

“Going into the summer, we’ve got to be prepared. We have to be preventative and proactive on the front end,” said Aiken.

This is one of the reasons why Ricky has been personally selected by the Mayor to go to a Cities United conference in Birmingham, Alabama next week.

It’s a three day conference that focuses on reducing the violence and coming up with solutions.

“The goal is to really change outcomes,” said Mayor Jeri Muoio. “There are so many African American males who believe that by the time they are 20 they will either be dead of in jail. And those are the outcomes that we want to change.”

Reverend Kevin Jones is also going on behalf of the city. He's gone as a representative in years past.

"It’s really to hear some of the best practices from some of the other cities," said Jones.

Jones says this time to have someone going that the community really relates to, someone like Ricky Aiken, will help the city better implement these ideas.

The West Palm Beach Police Department will also be sending a representative to the conference.

The police department says there has been only one homicide so far this year.