Pastors walk North City streets at night to stop violence - KMOV.com

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Pastors walk North City streets at night to stop violence

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NORTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -

A group of pastors who walk crime riddled streets late at night are adding another night to their weekly rounds.

Reverend Ken McKoy of Progressive A.M.E. Zion Church leads the group, called Nightlife, which focuses on the most at risk streets in the neighborhoods of Fountain Park and Lewis Place.

"We just start walking down Kingshighway, heading north toward the tracks,” McKoy said.

Since May, they’ve been walking Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights starting at 10pm, often staying out until 2:00 a.m.

McKoy said the group’s efforts have made an impact.

“People see us out here consistently and they know what we're about,” McKoy said. “So they're not shocked or surprised by us engaging them.”

The group has gotten more volunteers who want to join the walks, but they won’t all stay out in the middle of the night.  As a result, Nightlife started another earlier walk on Monday nights, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30pm.

McKoy told News 4 he was inspired to start the group by a woman who joined his church, Patricia Wright-Jefferson. Her grandson, Antonio Calvin was murdered in 2009. His body was found by children in a Florissant creek.

Wright-Jefferson supports the group’s effort.

“I truly believe that his life would have been saved. He'd still be alive, if he just had someone to have cared like that,” Wright-Jefferson said.

If you would like to learn more about stopping violence in at-risk neighborhoods, Nightlife is holding a free training, which is open to the public on Friday, October 2 at Wayman A.M.E. Church, 5010 Cabanne Ave.

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