Clergymen Honored For Work At Crime Scenes - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Clergymen Honored For Work At Crime Scenes

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by Mark Bellinger

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- On Friday, four Nashville chaplains were recognized for their volunteer service. Reverend William Harris, Reverend Michael Joiner, Bishop Hal Robinson and Bishop George Price all received vests they can wear at crime scenes, so people will recognize them.

When a 17-year-old was gunned down and killed on University Court in January family members wanted justice. Metro Police have been investigating, but situations like this one sometimes require help from the outside.

Reverend Michael Joyner, Bishop George Price and Reverend William Harris don't carry weapons. They're men of the cloth, and they run the city's Pastor Intervention Program.

"The fact we are chaplains and we come at it from a different angle kind of disarms them to a degree where they'll talk," said Bishop George Price.

They get good information and they use it to stop further violence, which happened earlier this year.

"We do think we diffused a situation that could have possibly been gang related and but once again we can't comment on it at this time," said Reverend Michael Joiner.

They also bring hope, for the children feel lost.

"We had a 14-year-old who told us his life span was only going to be until he reaches 18. He said they tell me I'm not going to live to be 18," said Reverend William Harris.

When a young man and two teenagers exchanged gunfire last week in East Nashville Chaplain Joiner was one of the first people to receive accurate information. The triple shooting started with a fight during a basketball game at the Inglewood Community Center.

"We all just try to work together to make a difference," said Chaplain Joiner.

The pastors said because they stay busy, but they'll trade off being on call. Metro Police Officers can call them at any time, to work on a volunteer basis.

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