Year of Hope in Topeka Initiative

Community leaders spoke about the importance of community on the steps of city hall during today's anti-violence rally.
Published: May. 8, 2023 at 6:39 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Community leaders held an anti-violence rally on the steps of City Hall on Monday to emphasize the benefits of coming together as a city.

The Year of Hope in Topeka initiative promotes hope, opportunity, and greater valuation of life in the capital city by bringing communities together with each other and with law enforcement.

Curtis Pitts, volunteer coordinator for the One Topeka Family Coalition, purports to capitalize on the recent downward trends in crime through this initiative.

“We’re all responsible for the importance of keeping our city safe and we don’t want to just lean on law enforcement to do everything,” said Pitts. “We have an opportunity to continue to be the leaders in lowering crime and homicides. And if we develop a team and a family concept we can keep the city moving in the right direction.”

“My message would just be trust,” said Shawnee County Sheriff Brian Hill. “Trust from law enforcement in the community, communities able to trust the law enforcement that is policing them. These are difficult times but the message is just getting out and talking to people as human beings.”

Pitt’s and the Year of Hope in Topeka Initiative also intend to host a number of community building activities including free youth sports leagues, job training, and even community farming in the future.