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Oakwood University Church town hall meeting brings police and community together

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- A community came together Saturday night with Huntsville Police to discuss some of the problems that have been facing our nation as of late.

Oakwood University Church held a town hall meeting in an effort to bring the police and community together.

Gregory Hines is Oakwood University Church's youth director. He was also the coordinator of the event. Hines said the theme of the night was "Come Let Us Reason."

"To reason with each other, talk to each other, find out some solutions and some programs we can do moving forward, in order to better the relationship for the community," he said.

One of those programs is Huntsville Police Department's "Why We Do What We Do" program. It's going on its second year now. Community Resource Officer John Hollingsworth said now they are trying to expand their reach.

"We're gonna partner with Pastor Hines and trying to take that out to the communities where we can show to the public, what we do, why we do it."

Officer Hollingsworth said they also want to make people aware of the other organizations they can go to if they feel the police have done something wrong, and correct the issues. Saturday night's town hall will hopefully start to bridge the gap between police and community.

"Any time when there's certain issues coming up our community needs to have that ability to come to us, and express how they feel because first place it helps them relieve any anger or anything like that, but also we actually start finding solutions," said Hollingsworth.

Pastor Hines adds that it won't end here. They want to be proactive, and hopefully prevent something from happening, even before it does. Giving the community and police a chance to hear each other's voices, and start that dialogue, is just the beginning.

"You'll find a lot of people that do town hall meetings and it's a one time thing, but here at Oakwood what we want to do is continue this, is just kind of a kickoff if you will, of more things to come," he said.

The town hall was hosted by Oakwood University Church's youth group.