FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - For JAVA, 2018 was a year of working together trying to build a relationship with law enforcement and law makers to get cases solved. The meeting started with a recap of crime that happened last year including 40 homicides.
"We realized there are some things that could be happening by our local government that's not happening, or some of their shortcomings. We feel we need to hear from some people who know about government more than we do and educate us on what could possibly be happening from the top down and so we did invite some folks here to speak today," Amy Davis said.
Going forward in 2019, JAVA is working towards gaining more communication to find ways to take action.
Mayoral candidate Tim Smith along with city council candidates Taylor Vanover who is running for the City Council 5th District and Joe Townsend who is running for City Council At Large were in attendance Sunday to see how they can help.
"From the bottom of my heart, this is a justice issue and I'm here to support them," Smith said.
Families were able to hear from all three.
"I think these issues that they are addressing are things our local officials should hear," Vanover said.
Davis said JAVA is looking toward gaining non-profit status, planning a town hall, and getting a series through the allen county public library for public access television. Seeing their efforts to do more gives Dashyia Haywood hope. Her sister Destiny Haywood was killed last year at a local gas station.
"They're doing a lot of things. They're out in the field doing things we don't feel comfortable with doing,anad maybe not even strong enough yet to do. Even coming to these meetings are hard, so I thank these people for having the strength to speak for us and be our voices," Haywood said.
The next meeting will be February 24th at Faith United Methodist Church, and it is open to the public.