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State Rep. Bruce Franks calls town hall to discuss solutions to violence

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - A state legislator called an emergency meeting Thursday night in north St. Louis to tackle the root of violent crime plaguing the city.

In the first six weeks of 2017, there have already been 25 murders in the City of St. Louis.

Missouri State Representative Bruce Franks Jr. lead the meeting to generate real solutions, not just talk about the problems facing the community.

“The point of today was to say, ‘Hey, what resources do we have, what can you offer, what can we start to apply immediately,’” Rep. Bruce Franks Jr. said.

He said the root of the violence is lack of jobs, education, and resources.

“The name of the game is survival,” Franks said. “When someone’s back is against the wall, they don’t have the money, they don’t have the job, they don’t have these things, they are going to go out and get it, whether it be legally, whether it be illegally.”

Some ideas shared at the meeting include, adopting a program used nationwide called Operation Cease Fire, and implementing an anti-bullying program that intervenes to reduce the rate of violent retaliation.

The voices heard in the room echoed the same sentiment: it takes a village to raise a child, but in a city with the highest murder rate per capita in the country, it takes a city to save lives.