MUSKEGON, Mich. — Police from multiple agenices, people with mercy health, and community members of Muskegon all gathered at Muskegon High School today and took a walk with Big Red students in an effort to help them navigate rising violent crime in their community.
“I really liked it," said Katria Walker, a senior at Muskegon High School. "It was a fun experience. It was nice to talk to everybody,”
The students at the high school have been exposed to a lot of violence. Even at the superintendent at Muskegon Public Schools knows that too well.
“My second week on the job two years ago, I attended a memorial for a 9th grader,” said Superintendent Matthew Cortez.
The Muskegon Community at large knows that there is a problem as well.
“It has me worried," said community member Kennedi Richardson. "More kids are afraid to come outside, to go places.”
“Whatever pain we feel, they feel,” said Chief Maurice Sain with Muskegon Heights police. “I’m a huge believer in the village. I think it’s an old saying, but I think a lot of the kids are recognizing that adults do care."
One walk won't stop violent crime in Muskegon, but this is more than just one walk. It's one community, as a while, walking in the same direction with the same goal.
“We need to like, band together, as a community,” said Leahja Buchanan, another student at the high school.
The walk was organized by Gaining Unity through Non-Violent Solutions, based in Muskegon.
They plan on doing more walks like this to raise awareness in the future, saying listening to young people is the first step towards change in their community.