COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant’s biggest concern is the amount of gun violence in the city and she shared that concern was shared with the community.
"We're losing a lot of people, we're losing our young people to the system,” Chief Bryant said.
Chief Bryant and 1st Assistant Chief of Police LaShanna Potts were able to engage with people in the community at an NAACP meeting at Trinity Baptist Church.
The two law enforcement leaders shared with people the work they're doing to prevent crime, like solving homicides and working to reshape the police department to rebuild trust.
Bryant said this conversation is vital, especially as the concealed carry law is now in effect.
That law allows eligible Ohioans to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. Chief Bryant doesn't want to see more violence come under this new law.
"We are concerned, and we want people to be responsible with their ownership of weapons and make sure that they're putting them up to make sure that people don't have access to them,” Chief Bryant said.
10TV spoke with Pastor John Coats of Metropolitan Church of God and Christ. He said it's now on the community to start stepping up.
"It's a violent surge that's going on and we have to take some responsibility, a lot of responsibility for that,” Coats said.
Coats said hearing what is going on behind doors from the police chief, helps people see that change is happening.
"The more information we get the more that we're reminded of the responsibility that we have to ourselves,” said Coats.
Coats believes with the right leadership, and helping hands, it will come to fruition.
Chief Bryant said she and Potts will continue to hold meetings like this. She said it gives her a chance to hear what people in the community what to see change.