Tampa police, community groups team up for 'Stop the Violence' event

The Tampa Police Department and Rise Up for Peace Inc. hosted a family fun day event focused on raising awareness against gun violence in the community.

The "Stop the Violence" Family Fun Day Festival featured law enforcement, community groups, and clergy all sharing one message.

"Seeing all of us together on the same page, pushing the same message to other communities, that is, stop the gun violence and work together to resolve a lot of these shootings," Major Calvin Johnson with Tampa Police said.

Major Calvin Johnson is a Tampa native. He says these kinds of events are important because they build relationships and a sense of community.

"That's what this is for right here for folks to see that we’re people who are in uniforms, we protect them, we’re the guardians. But at home, I got my kids, I got my families. When we see somebody getting hurt and getting shot, it affects us also," Johnson said.

Patricia Brown is the founder of Rise Up for Peace. She knows the pain of losing someone to gun violence. Her son Devante Brown was gunned down two years ago in Tampa. Her grief led her to advocate on behalf of other parents and push toward stopping the senseless violence.

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"I couldn’t just sit there and just grieve. I had to do something, that was my child I lost. It's like other parents that lost a child, and they're the ones that cannot get up. I'm there for them. I'm going to be fighting them as well," Brown said.

TPD says one way the community can help reduce crime is by speaking up and sending anonymous tips.

Text keyword SAFETAMPA to 847411, add a space, type in your tip information, and hit send.