Pastors join forces with police to fight crime

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Submitted: Wed, 06/29/2011 - 2:45am
Updated: Wed, 06/29/2011 - 3:01pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s called “Boots on the Ground.” The program combines local pastors and Wilmington Police to provide guidance and resources for troubled individuals in the community. The men and women of God are walking the streets, offering advice, and counseling those who live in high crime areas.

“I mean, there’s no sense of us going in Landfall trying to be Boots on the Ground and stop crime,” said Pastor James Jamison, a member of the program. “We go where the problem is because at the end of the day we have a responsibility to rescue our babies.”

It started in February after the program’s coordinator, Linda Rawley, realized something needed to be done about the Port City’s violent crime problem.

“We had begun to have several homicides in our community and while police and some people were certainly speaking out against the gang violence, we were not necessarily hearing that loud moral voice,” said Rawley.

Rawley along with Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous decided to call on pastors from inner city ministries to help out. Twelve pastors and about twenty more people from various churches have gotten involved.

“We’re concerned about the whole city, but we’re focusing on the problem right now and what we have to do in Wilmington right now is not to be afraid to say what the problem is and not go after it for fear of not being politically correct,” said Jamison.

Pastors say the target of their community prayer and services is young African American men.

“Young people are emulating crack dealers, emulating pimps and hustlers and they think these are men,” said Jamison. “Those are not men. Those are boys in men’s clothing.”

Since the program kicked off, pastors say their efforts have made a difference and more young people they minister to are getting off the streets and into church.

“The younger men feel a part all of a sudden,” said Pastor Linwood Nesbitt. “They don’t feel like they have to change everything about themselves to come into the church. They find their personality and find a place to fit.”

Many of the pastors and others involved have troubled pasts themselves and say they hope their service can demonstrate how anyone can turn their lives around for the better.


  • Guest228 says:

    Instead of offering negative criticism of the black community, you might want to start an annual march of your own for the white race. Believe it or not, but black folks arent the only population getting assistance and needing some parenting education. I use to work in DSS and believe me, half of the customers are white unwed mothers who are getting assistance and continually acting as baby machines and collecting their entitlements too..

  • SurfCityTom says:

    that sure sounds more promising than marching once a year to commenmorate some incident back in the late 1800s.

    Now if they can get the manpower, or Social Services, to work with the baby machines who crank out newborns every year or so to increase their “entitlements”, maybe they can achieve some true long term success.

  • Guest2012 says:

    I know James Jamison and Linda Rawley personally and know that they are connected to the African American Community and our area Black churches, as well as their own.

    They truly know how to intervene in a crisis, and this is a Crisis, as we live and breathe in Wilmington!

    Jamison is known for busting up Crack houses, in the middle of the frickin’ night, in his community, and he is a force that the Black youth may really recon with…because, he takes no prisoners. He has been in the pits during his youth and no one out there can B.S. him and they know it after 2 seconds near him. He is one tough cookie.
    I think of him as a friend, who “gets it”, as few do. Same with Linda, she “gets it” and God Bless them both for at least trying to organize a Coup against their own kids…who were just babies, yesterday.
    All the talking to these kids does not work. Early intervention is working with the gang task force, but they just didn’t GET TO THESE YOUTHS EARLY ENOUGH, so that is where this group is coming from.


    Indeed, we need the Black community to step up to the plate because of the crimes that are being committed daily. Because the YOUTH in the black community do not listen to white people…no matter how appropriate the crisis intervention or how ‘culturally cognizant’ White case managers are, we surely do need the likes of Linda and James, and I know this first hand. Neither will hold any hostages, so to speak, but they will hold the youth accountable, unlike the youths own parents…I mean single mothers.

    Black youth have been taught to disregard and disrespect information coming from the White community, unless there is a hand-out involved…
    Then, it is okay. Sometimes, the truth hurts.

    I love what my 2 ole’ friends have said, ” forget about Political Correctness”! I totally agree. Why ignore the ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM???

    It is time to quit saying how good the dead or incarcerated youth “WAS”. Whitey is sitting here saying, “if someone cared enough to love them by some tough/hard a$$ intervention, they would have amounted to someone, someday, and would have broken the chains of dependence that is attached to governmental entitlements.

    It is time to teach young girls NOT to get pregnant by gang bangers just to perpetuate the single mother mentality of having their own Section 8 apartment and living off entitlements, while being supported by the really big money flowing through the front door from their boys selling the crack and Rx drugs, on the next block.

    Remember, ” forget about Political Correctness”, and if you ever need the White community to help instill some of the White Cultural Competencies, just reach out!

    And… to the rest of the committee, beyond the two that I spoke about, THANK YOU, IT IS ABOUT TIME!!!

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    Explain to them that the root cause of most problems is a seventy percent illegitimate birth rate?

    I applaud these efforts and wish them luck, but I can’t help notice that if anyone on these boards had suggested that greater efforts be undertaken by the Black community, that person would have been immediately condemned as a racist.

    It happens here ALL the time!

  • Das Weibstück says:

    White folks cant do that, its racist.

  • Guest2012 says:

    Compare White Single Mothers collecting food stamps:White population


    Compare African Single Mothers collecting food stamps:African American Population.

    Just the facts, Jack!

  • SurfCityTom says:

    learn to read clearly. Nowhere in my post did I mention color or race.

    Looks like you are the one throwing out the race card.

    You’ll need to do a better job if you want to debate with me.

  • GuestLee says:

    You’re so full of it. You don’t REALLY expect us to believe that, do you?

    I tried to get assistance once when I was laid off from my job, and I was told in no uncertain terms, and I quote, “If you were a back woman and had a baby, I could help you”.

    Nuff said.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    Pointing out that there is an increasing number of irresponsible White women (and Latinas) with limited intelligence and wide open legs does not solve the current crisis in the Black community. It simply serves as a warning of what is to come among ALL races if we don’t restore some sanity to our nation.

    Yes, it’s becoming a problem in the White community, it is already a problem in the Latino community, but it has reached pandemic proportions in the Black community and is slowly destroying far too large a percentage of Black Americans.

    I hope you saw the statistics I posted two weeks ago regarding the rates of drug addiction, alcoholism, criminal activity, drop-out, and next generation illegitimate births among people raised in single guardian households. It’s frightening and it’s killing Black America. (Except for those smart enough to break the chains of economic slavery and strike out on their own.)

    The entire system of government dependence that has existed for almost fifty years has conditioned people of all colors to disregard the basic, common-sense family structures and lifestyle choices that are required to thrive in our society. Black, White, Red or Brown, they simply exist and have no incentive to try and better themselves. Medicaid, public housing, and even our tax structure are designed to encourage irresponsible breeding.

    What I find most disappointing is that few people trapped in the cycle of government dependence recognize it for what it is and what it has always been. You sold your souls for a small TANF check and a roach infested apartment. Had LBJ been an honest man, this is what he would have said: “We’ll keep you trapped at or near the poverty level, but we won’t let you starve. In return, you won’t burn down our cities and you’ll vote for us.”

    That’s what it was in 1965, and that’s what it still is today.

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