Community members are fighting for a safe summer in Lexington's east end

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - People in Lexington’s east end are fighting back after they say crime has paid a heavy toll on the neighborhood.

Urban County Councilman James Brown hosted a community meeting Monday night as they plan for a safe summer.

The meeting brought out people like Anita Franklin, who was born and raised in the east end. She lost her son to gun violence in the neighborhood. Now, she wants the crime to stop so no more lives are lost.

Franklin and other community members are teaming up with city leaders, law enforcement, and each other to solve the problem. They're planning events so they can get to know each other, build bonds, and send a positive message of strength.

"Because of our police department, our sheriff's department, and our whole entire city, we've been encouraged to fight back,” says Franklin. “We have to take our city back."

Lexington police says they're working with the community to increase patrol in the area, but they can't do it alone.

Lieutenant Matt Brotherton says the community needs to be the eyes and ears too. "In your neighborhood, you know what is suspicious. I don’t know what's suspicious in your neighborhood. You do,” he says. “What we always tell someone is 'If you see something that concerns you, don't hesitate to call us."

After this meeting, people say they feel empowered. Next, they want the whole neighborhood to join their fight.

Thomas Tolliver from the east end says, "Tonight was a start, but we have much work ahead of us. I would like to have meetings like this outdoors where people can't help but see us."