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Using water to stop street violence?

August 2, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new tool is being used in the war against crime. It's bottled water, and proponents say it can help cooler heads prevail.At first glance, it may appear to be an unusual method for fighting violent crime on the streets of Los Angeles, but this group of volunteers believes simply handing out free bottled water can help.

"Our purpose is if some has been drinking hopefully we can dilute it with a drink of water," said volunteer Pamela Carolina. "If not, by taking a drink of water it will be an alternative to picking up a beer. And hopefully we have decreased someone from going and having a violent outburst in their home or their community."

It's called the Safe and Sober Summer Water Campaign. Organizers say on hot summer days, many people turn to alcohol to quench their thirst, and that can lead to violent behavior. By handing out free bottled water they're giving people a safe alternative.

"This year and last year we have collected a total of six beer cans that people decided to give up to take a cool drink of water once we shared our message and information with them," said Carolina.

On Sunday night they gathered at Western Avenue and 39th Street and handed out 1200 bottles, hoping to cool tempers with a cold drink of water.

"There are other things besides drinking. There are other things like games, sports, anything else besides just drinking on the streets. It's really not good. Plus it's too hot to be drinking," said Towana Davis.

"If I could save just one life I feel like we have been successful in what we're doing," said Carolina.

The effort is organized by the Southern California Cease Fire Committee in conjunction with Project Cry No More and The Teen Intervention Program.

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