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Dozens turn out for town hall meeting

Tonight, several Escambia County leaders met with citizens at a town hall meeting to address crime, violence and education.
It wrapped up about an hour ago at the Brownsville Assembly of God.
Most of the questions from the audience were directed towards Escambia County Commissioner, Lumon May, Escambia County Sheriff, David Morgan, School Superintendent, Malcolm Thomas, and Pensacola Mayor, Ashton Hayward.

Dozens of people came to tonight's town hall meeting armed with over 70 questions relating to jobs, education and crime.

It was a packed house at Brownsville Assembly of God, for what most in attendance agree was a much needed discussion in Escambia County.
A panel of community leaders answered questions from the audience.
Jobs, crime and education dominated the discussion.

Malcolm Thomas - Superintendent
"The opportunity is there for these students, to do better with their life and their future.  In order for that to happen, we will have to believe that old adage, it does take a village to raise the child."

Many parents asked about summer programs for kids.
Pensacola Mayor Hayward says the city has over 90 parks available.
Commission Chairman, Lumon, followed up by assuring concerned parents programs will be offered this summer, and spread throughout the county.
From education, the conversation switched to crime.

Regina Hyman - Escambia Co. Resident
"It takes more than just Montclair and the Mayfair community, it takes a panel of everybody coming together to decide about this community."

Escambia County Sheriff, David Morgan, told residents in attendance, his department continues to reduce crime, touting violent crime has dropped 9%.
He admits there's still more work to be done, but insists his department can't do it alone, and needs help from the community.
Morgan says the increase in neighborhood watch groups is a start.

Sheriff David Morgan
"We started with 13 neighborhood watches when I took office five years ago.  We just got the report yesterday, w have 122 neighborhood watches in Escambia County."

Overall the town hall meeting has been considered a success by many who came.

Many people hope tonight's town hall meeting is the first step in bringing the community together, and there's already talk of doing another town hall meeting like this in the next three months.
Reporting in Escambia County, Kavontae Smalls, Channel 3 News.