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Few residents turn out for panel aimed at reducing gun violence across the City-Parish

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BATON ROUGE - Community members, law enforcement officers and government leaders gathered at the "Solutions Forum" to reduce gun violence Saturday at the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church.

"We can be a part of the solution if we go hand-in-hand," Shiloh Pastor Fred Smith said.

He's a member of Prophetic Voices, a coalition of concerned clergy who organized the forum.

"We feel an obligation to begin a dialogue, the discussions to bring about remedies to gun violence," Rev. Smith said.

With gun violence on the rise in East Baton Rouge Parish, people like Rolfe McCollester, a concerned resident and retired grandfather, came to hear what the panelists had to say.

"I think the number one concern on people's minds is crime, and we have to do more. We have to come up with a total solution," McCollester said.

Resident Beverly Conish, also concerned about her city, came out Saturday because she wants to do her part.

"We have to start somewhere and make the public know. Everyone needs to do their part to make this better. It takes a village," Conish said.

Organizers said folks need to take the information given at the forum and hit the streets to reduce the violent plague that's affecting the city.

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