Solutions to combat teen violence were among the hot topics at a community meeting in downtown Jackson hosted by Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes.
Dozens of citizens and city leaders came out to Jackson City Hall to brainstorm ways to curb crime. So far this year, there have been 42 homicides. Too many violent crimes for some and they want to see solutions.
“Crime is not simply a matter of policing, it is how we engage people and how we decide we are going to control the blocks,” said Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba.
Mayor Lumumba and other leaders at Wednesday's meeting pledged to create a better quality of life and provide more opportunities for young people, something many residents say plays a big part in the increase in crime.
“When there is nothing for our young people do, they create their own fun and their fun turns into tragedy,” said a Jackson resident.
Pastor Dwayne August agrees. His church is now offering everything from martial arts to a boxing program for kids to promote conflict resolution.
“I think the kids need to learn how to deal with conflict and then they'll be able to go on with their daily lives and journey and without all the crime and things happening in our neighborhood,” said Pastor August.
Jackson Police also promoted their training academy and other resources to help young people stay on the right track. Both law enforcement and community leaders still want to see more parents hold their kids more accountable and help end teen violence.
“I try to teach young people to walk a day and live to see another day,” said a Jackson resident.