Community members speak out against Waterloo violence - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Community members speak out against Waterloo violence

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Bill Vanwey is walking to end violence.

"When I saw the fella on television that had lost his nephew to some gunfire, I just felt like we've got to do something," he said.

That's why the Evansdale pastor made a sign and took to the streets in Waterloo Friday---to raise awareness.

"We've got some issues in our community," he said. "It starts with each of us -- go out and tell people how we are supposed to interact with one another. That's love and not violence."

He spent much of the afternoon walking along Franklin street, "…telling people to watch out for the violence, amen?"

But despite recent shootings, officials say the actual violence in the area is not statistically high.

"We've had a cluster in the past week, week and a half, and it alarms many people,"said Dan Trelka, Waterloo Director of Safety Services. "But you know what is sad is that for a community of 70,000 people, we're no worse off than any community of 70,000 people."

He also wanted to clarify circumstances surrounding the recent shootings.

"There's a prior relationship,"he said. "These aren't random acts of violence."

Trelka said he's frustrated by how quickly situations can escalate now.

"When I was a teenager, when I was a young man ... I've been in a few fist fights,"he said. "But you get in a fight with someone you get in a disagreement with --then you had a drink together. Now, it seems like some people resort to violence immediately."

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