PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Safer Communities for Justice launched a website and anonymous tip hotline on Saturday following the recent increase in violence in Providence.
The organization’s founder Diana Garlington knows the pain of gun violence firsthand.
Her daughter 21-year-old Essence Christal was shot to death while driving down Broad Street in Providence in 2011. Her murder remains unsolved.
“Our families don’t want to continue to hear that our prayers and thoughts are with you, that is not going to bring our children back,” she said.
Garlington said it’s time for solutions. The organization launched a website and tip hotline in hopes of getting answers in dozens of unsolved homicides in Providence.
“It will go directly to our Providence Police Department. Everything is confidential. If you have information you want to share with our community going forward in regards to unsolved murders, this is where we are going to do it on this new website,” she said.
Safercommunitiesforjustice.com also lists each victim’s name, some with a photo and description written by family and friends.
Attorney General Peter Neronha and members of the Providence police department attended Saturday’s event.
Major David Lapatin said offering the community an anonymous website run by activists will hopefully give them the leads they need.
“It’s such a hard thing to come here and tell you if you have a family member who is a victim, to tell you we can’t solve this case right now and that we are trying but we do need help to, we need the public to help us.”
The website also has an update page with information on two cold cases that were recently solved in Providence. Garlington expects more names will be added to that page soon.