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Police, pastors, neighbors aim to end the violence in Columbus

On Thursday night, a sitdown was held bringing together local police and area pastors. The aim of the meeting was to stop the bloodshed. (WSYX/WTTE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- A major push is underway to bring down the rising murder rate in the city of Columbus.

On Thursday night, a sitdown was held bringing together local police and area pastors. The aim of the meeting was to stop the bloodshed.

Michael Young, the pastor of Christ Cathedral Church is working on the front lines, trying to put an end to the violence in his east Columbus neighborhood and across the city.

"We have 111 homicides already in 2017," said Young.

That number is more than all of 2016. Young's church was the focal point of the pivotal meeting between the Fraternal Order of Police and area pastors, a forum aimed at building a bridge between police and the community. The mayor alluded to the split just this week. Jeff Simpson, Vice President of the FOP told ABC6/FOX28 that police stand united with the communities they serve.

"There's been some statements from city hall, from city leadership that is perpetuating that there's a lack of trust in police. [The belief] that leads to the homicide rate, that's a false narrative," said Simpson.

Pastor Young said he is holding on to his faith, confident a positive change will happen.

"It's critically important. What I've learned is that really the community, for the most part, and the FOP, for the most part, have very, very common goals, which is the peace and prosperity of Columbus, Ohio," said Young.

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