DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – There was a level of optimism Monday night. However, it was also met by the reality of where things stand now.

“Our city is in crisis. Gun violence has taken the lives of far too many of our residents,” said Durham Mayor Elaine O’Neal.

Monday, before the Durham City Council meeting, O’Neal spoke in front of leaders and community members. She started by laying out what she thinks is the pathway to curb gun violence.

“There is one path to prevention, which means we work together,” O’Neal mentioned.

O’Neal said she’s working with different groups and organizations, one of which she calls “the reformers,” also known as “the shot callers.” They sat in the front row as she delivered her address.

O’Neal also said she’s working with Durham County Commissioner Brenda Howerton when it comes to the city’s crime cabinet.

She explained that it is working to develop strategies. However, O’Neal mentioned that the city needs more police officers.

“But we do need applicants to apply. We have to have people to apply,” she stated.

O’Neal said while combatting violence is a big goal so are things like affordable housing and redeveloping neighborhoods like Hayti.

“Let us consider purchasing property that can become affordable housing for teachers, police officers, our firefighters, our city employees,” said O’Neal. “The city is supporting a partnership between Hayti Heritage Foundation and the Urban Land Institute on a mission to explore the redevelopment of the Fayetteville Street corridor.”

O’Neal also addressed infrastructure, public health, and inclusion during her address.

She’s urging people to volunteer and get involved in local organizations to help with things like crime.