Disparate Groups Join to Fight Crime; the Three Organizations Are Pooling Resources for the Community

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Byline: MATT GALNOR

Two historic civil rights organizations and a grass-roots anti-crime group will combine efforts to fight violent crime in Jacksonville.

The first battle: This summer, while schools are out.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Jacksonville Urban League and Men Against Destruction Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder, commonly known as MAD DADS, are joining forces in what leaders said is a significant step in getting high-profile groups working together.

They're starting some short-term projects and forging a longer-term working relationship to pool resources and look at what needs to be done for the overall health of the community.

The partnership is important to send the message that nonprofits that may not always agree are willing to work together around a common cause, said Richard Danford, president of the Jacksonville Urban League.

Plans for the summer include:

-- Developing an anti-crime hot line people can call and have tips and concerns forwarded to authorities. Danford said people are often afraid to call police, fearing a squad car will show up and the whole neighborhood will know who called.

-- Creating a Stop the Violence, Stop the Madness Day this summer. There will be a meeting next week to work on the date and location for the event, which would include workshops and rallies. …