MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The holidays are for family, but there are some who will spend the season without their loved ones due to violence.
The Mobile Police Department held its 2nd Annual Giving Tree Lighting Ceremony to honor those who lost their lives to violent crime.
Mobile Police Chief Paul Prine wants the families of the victims to know they have not been forgotten.
“The tree represents all the families in the city of Mobile for the gun violence that has happened… for those who have lost family members,” said Chief Prine
MPD provided gifts for the victims’ children and stood alongside families, as they reminded them that they will always have their support.
“We recognize that obviously, we’re the first ones to respond,” said Chief Prine. “We’re the ones who investigate the crimes. We just want the people in the community to know if you have been a victim of gun violence in Mobile, we recognize that.”
Ramona Carter was one of several dozen in attendance. She is the daughter-in-law of Grace Carter, who was killed by a stray bullet at Everlasting Life Holiness Church last December.
“We all want to remember our loved ones…we don’t want them to be forgotten,” said Carter. “These types of events give us an opportunity to remember them.”
Not only did Carter come to represent her mother-in-law, but she held a sign filled with names of those who lost their lives to violent crimes in Mobile over the years.
“Most of it has been youth violence crimes against each other,” said Carter. “I really can’t understand that. I wish there was something we could do or say to make them stop but it seems like it keeps going on and on.”
For the investigations that have to have yet to be solved, Chief Paul Prine continues to urge the community to come forward if they have any valuable information.
“If you see something, say something. If you know something, come forward,” said Prine. “It’s high time that we take our community back one street at a time.”