NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Monday, Sept. 18, the Metro Public Health Department is hosting a community forum discussing the ways violence, in all forms, is a threat to the health of the public.

“I think the current way that we address violence, from just a law enforcement only perspective, has not yielded the results they wanted to yield,” said State Rep. Harold Love Jr. of District 58, who’s moderating the forum. “There clearly has to be a connection between, again, things like increased poverty, low access to affordable housing.”

Love said it’s time to involve public health officials for another perspective and clarify contributing factors.

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“Just like COVID-19 or the flu, if we see that someone may have had the symptoms of this particular illness, or this particular episode, that particular issue is a health crisis, we might find ways to mitigate our exposure to it,” said Love. “So, why not approach violence in the same manner?”

He said violence can spread, similar to a physical disease.

“If I’ve experienced a traumatic episode or if I’ve had violence acted upon me, I need to receive some help, I need to receive some counseling, I need to receive some some measures on how I can better deal with the situation and get myself to a place where I can then engage in conversations and engage in interaction with people in a manner that does not lead me to exact violence on them,” said Love.

Community members are invited to join the discussion, happening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Lee Chapel AME Church (1200 Dr. D.B. Todd Boulevard)

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“Having the community there allows us to survey the community to find out what makes you feel safe, what makes you feel unsafe, how might we address those issues,” said Love. “It’s not just words that we’re getting, but we’re actually taking actions to reduce these violent episodes.”