Retired police captain and chaplain U.J. Toney served as a police officer with the Memphis Police Department for almost 40 years.
On New Year's Eve, he doesn't like what he hears in the air.
"We can hear gunfire at 10:30 p.m. or 11 p.m. and lasting until maybe 3 o'clock in the morning," Chaplain Toney said. "We hear all calibers of weapons. Some are fireworks, but you know, the heavy weapons and some of them are just reckless - projectiles raining down on top of people's homes."
Toney is calling for Mid-Southerners to find a safe way to celebrate the New Year with the backing of the Afro American Police Association. He's heading up a program called "Operation Cease Fire" on New Year's Eve.
"Out of respect for all the other shootings, a lot of people are asking, 'what can we do? What can we do?,'" Toney said. "For one thing, we can put our guns down. The celebratory fire that we are growing accustomed to, it frightens the children and it frightens me. If the law-abiding people, people of conscience, righteous people would put their guns down, we would eliminate this New Year's Eve celebratory fire."
Toney is hoping that his cease-fire movement will save lives.
"If you need to fire your weapon, go to some place that is designated for that," he said. "Go to a firing range, or a hunting area, but certainly not in the middle of a neighborhood - New Year's Eve or any other time."
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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