ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – It’s the work that goes on behind the doors of Victory Christian Church, and on the streets in Albany that got Pastor Charlie Muller a $5,000 award from USA Network as part of their Characters Unite campaign.
“A few months ago a parent came in, she rang the door and she was in tears and she had a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle backpack in her hand,” Pastor Charlie told News 10. “I brought her into the office and I opened up and there was a Glock 9. She said the child was nine years old.
Its stories like those that make Albany’s gun buyback program necessary.
Pastor Charlie will hand out gift cards to anyone who turns in a gun off the street. No questions asked.
His work in the community is now being recognized on the national level.
“Charlie stood out among them. We did get hundreds and hundreds of nominations, so it was a difficult choice,” Toby Graff of NBC Universal said. “But the work that he’s doing for kids up to senior citizens is just incredible and he really stood out.”
And the award is something Pastor Muller says will certainly help him, help others.
“It’s gonna go a long way and if someone in another city in our nation can see something and say hey I want to come and see how you do what you do and we can duplicate our self, we’d love that,” Pastor Charlie tells News 10. “The gun program, we just kicked it up again we just got three guns so that we’re gonna be turning into the sheriff.”
Sheriff Apple sees the benefit of the program and hopes community members will, too: Trading a gun for a gift card, to keep the streets a bit safer.
“They’ll take these illegal guns that they know are community guns, they’re hidden in alleys or whatever the case may be and they’ll turn them in,” Sheriff Apple told News 10. “Those are the guns we’re pursuing- those illegal guns that are laying out there.”
Everyone agrees, any gun turned in is one less on the streets