Anti-violence group plans to prevent crime

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COLUMBIA -The Boone County Community Against Violence group discussed adopting Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) in its third meeting Sunday.

Shaunda Hamilton founded the group after losing her 18-year-old daughter, Nadria Wright, to gun violence in September. The group aims to keep Boone County safe and get as many people involved to ensure movement in the right direction. 

CPTED aims to design the environment through planning, zoning and building to reduce crime risks. That could include increased lighting and surveillance cameras. 

Rev. James Gray from Second Missionary Baptist Church helped Hamilton lead the meeting and stressed the importance of the group. 

“We’ve got a lot of great things going on,” Gray said. “We've got some great ideals, but the biggest part about this is that we put it into action. Action is what we need.”

The group also discussed recent crime, including the fatal shooting at Vibez nightclub that killed a Columbia father of three. Gray said ending violence in Columbia is going to take the entire community working together.

“We ain't going to stop everything,” he said. “If we could just stop a couple, if we could just work together and figure out and come together to say let's make sure that this place is safe."

The group is hosting a free neighborhood watch training on Feb. 25 and encourages the community to come learn about crime reducing methods.

The next meeting is from 2-3:30 p.m. on March 8, in the Daniel Boone Regional Library.