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Community Comes Together, Focuses on Recent Violence

CHAMPAIGN--Last week's outbreak of violence in Champaign is bringing community members closer together to be proactive in stopping violence.

"When we're all working together it makes it very difficult and very unattractive for individuals to engage in those types of negative activity." siad Champaign Mayor, Don Gerard.

When people stop working together and start becoming complacent that's when crime starts to breed according to Herbert Burnett.

"The reason they doing all this shooting and acting crazy because they don't know what community looks like." Burnett said.

Burnett was one of the organizers of Saturday's celebration of family and fathers at Champaign's Douglass Park.

He says last weekend's violence should be a shocking wake up call for every single person living in Champaign-Urbana.

"If we don't invest in these kids it's going to get worse. Period. It has been a safer community up until this far, but we've been very fortounate." Burnett said.

He says an investment of time, and showing there are people who care will make a world of difference in children.

Other people we talked to are ready to share that responsiblity.

"It really comes upon us dads who are here to reach out beyond our own families. And embrace our nephews, our cousins, and those who may need a spiritual dad." said Champaign resident Craig Walker.

Champaign Mayor Don Gerard says last weekend's violence can be turned into next week's progress.

"No matter what challenge we face we can turn it into an opportunity. We can move forward, we can all be better." Gerard said.

--Reported by David Ade