Curbing Violence With Kindness in Sterling - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Curbing Violence With Kindness in Sterling

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Gun shots rang through a Sterling neighborhood Sunday.

A gang shooting at another - putting others in danger in the crossfire. 

Sadly - this isn't the first time this has happened.

Over the years - Sterling police have been dealing with gang members coming from Chicago and Peoria - and setting up shop in the town of 15,000 people.

There have been efforts in the past to curb the violence, some successful. Others not. 

But now- one group has decided to take a different approach - tackling a problem fill with hate, with kindness.

We Can - a Whiteside County group committed to safety - is getting ready to organize several "Know Your Neighbor" socials.

These will be held at local churches - inviting people to simply get to know their neighbors.

"This is an effort to bring people back individually and shake hands and say hello," says Pastor Jeff Coester. "To know who your neighbor is."

This he says, will hopefully promote a sense of responsibility for one another -instead of apathy.

"When people know each other - they are more likely to call if they see something suspicious," says Coester. "Theyt are more likely to turn on a light . More like to walk over if they see something isn't right."

He says the object, is simple.

"On of our goals is to just have people know the person behind them. Know who the people in front of them. Know the person to each side of them. And to just rade phone numbers and look out for one another."

Police departments are excited for the community push too.

"There's so much more to law enforcement than just policing, "says Lt. Doug Fargher."The community informs plice by keeping track of what's going on in the neighborhoods."

Something everyone hopes will make for less gangs and more peace in the area.