Public offers solutions for youth violence problem

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A high-powered panel of public safety officials, City-County officials and community leaders came together in Indianapolis on Tuesday night to discuss solutions to youth violence plaguing the city.

The panel of experts, who attended the town hall meeting at Eastern Star Church, were there to listen to ideas from the public, and they received plenty of input from parents, youth advocates and teens themselves throughout the two hour event.

“Give them options,” said Harry Mimms, who works with Project Last Chance. “Give them somewhere to go that’s just for them. Right now, they feel like they don’t have anywhere to go so they’ll just go to the mall.”

The recent shooting at the Circle Centre mall downtown is just one of the events that once again brought the issue of youth violence into the forefront. Whether it’s groups of teens getting into trouble downtown or the two teens who are accused of going on a deadly crime spree throughout the city, the teens in attendance on Tuesday night said a solution needs to come before their peers turn to crime.

“We need resources from the city to help fund (youth) programs,” said James Williams, who is involved with Young Men Inc.

Ron Harrod had two sons who were shot and killed on Father’s Day last year. He said his solution includes more emphasis on strengthening punishments for gun-related crimes.

“You get convicted of stealing a $100 pair of tennis shoes, it’s theft and it’s a D felony here in Indiana. You get convicted of carry a handgun without a license, it’s a misdemeanor,” Harrod said. “Those types of things also need to be addressed, so that preferably what happened to me, my family and other families here in our community won’t have to happen to anybody else.”

“In many ways it’s easier to get a gun in this city than it is to get an education,” said U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett, who was also in attendance at the meeting.

Hogsett wasn’t on the panel of public safety and city leaders, so he offered his own solutions. He said he’d like to step up efforts to prosecute adults who arm minors with guns. He’d also target specific zipcodes with federal prosecutors to enforce zero tolerance policies.

“A young person here is four times more likely to be a victim of murder than the national average in this zip code,  right here,” Hogsett said, referring to the east side.

Members of the panel didn’t offer their own solutions. They were simply there to listen to the public input. However, Public Safety Director Troy Riggs said newly formed efficiency teams will soon respond.

“A lot of the information we get tonight will be part of those teams and from those teams, we’ll be drawing a blueprint for the future,” Riggs said.

Maggie Lewis, president of the City-County Council, helped organize the town hall. She said they plan to hold a similar event on the west side soon. She said the City-County Council will also be taking input they hear at the meetings and examining how they might be able to take action.

25 comments

  • sean belfire

    if the cps would stay the he double toothpicks out of familys disciplining their children we would have half the problems….also you take God out of schools and then wonder what is wrong with our children hello morons…i can remember when i was in school we brought guns and knives to show our friends NOT to kill them but thats how much it has changed in 20 to 25 years

    • ClanSmokeJaguar

      And PWT thugs and riff raff….you know…the ones who are constantly conniving, scheming, stealing, etc.

      • ClanSmokeJaguar

        Hi Starlette.

        I found to mention the biggest category of crime for white men that far outpaces other races: Child molestation.

        :(

  • Hoosierdad

    so i guess the state is stepping in to play parents because of all the teenagers and mooches spittin out babies they cant and dont take care of. the state wants control, they dont give a shit about helping anybody.

  • ClanSmokeJaguar

    >You get convicted of carry a handgun without a license, it’s a misdemeanor

    Actually, it's a felony to have a concealed weapon with a license.

  • ClanSmokeJaguar

    >they feel like they don’t have anywhere to go so they’ll just go to the mall

    Oh PLEASE! For a small subset of teens, maybe…maybe that's true.

    For the bulk of them, the "something to do", is to go to the mall or anywhere, with the express intent of busting someone up or getting their cap on!

    At Castleton Square Mall you have 100s and 100s of teens who do nothing but roam the place yet you don't have the mayhem of downtown.

    Besides, the city or any government should NOT be in the role of providing entertainment to youth. It's not the role of the government to be an after-hours daycare program for wayward youths.

    How about this? The teens that are handling their business, getting good grades, holding a job maybe…interview them and see how they keep themselves entertained and then try to encourage the wayward teens to emulate them.

    • Mettaintheworld

      I think this is a brilliant idea…The teens that are handling their business, getting good grades, holding a job maybe…interview them and see how they keep themselves entertained and then try to encourage the wayward teens to emulate themI

      I'm sick of hearing how 'they have nothing to do'..look, when I was a teenager or younger, no one hand held me and GAVE me sh*t to do…get out there and do something..and if you can't find something positive to do then you've been raised without guidance then it all goes back to the parents and some good old fashion home training.

      • ClanSmokeJaguar

        >then you've been raised without guidance then it all goes back to the parents and some good old fashion home training.

        Amen bro! Well put!

        In other words the city wants to provide funds to entertain the children of "parent(s)" who were brought up with no civilized training.

        I've got an idea for providing something for those lilttle bastiches: It's called prison time.

        If these children can't behave themsellves, lock them up and remove any and all public assistance to the parent(s).

      • the truth hurts

        Id rather the govenment use my tax dollars to put and keep the thugs in jail where they belong (since we cant kill em) than have them roaming the street where they could do harm to innocent people and be supported by a lifetime of gubberment entitlements.

  • ClanSmokeJaguar

    >In many ways it’s easier to get a gun in this city than it is to get an education

    Joe! You blooming idiot! Hyperbole much!?

    WTH is that supposed to mean? lol…how difficult is it to go to your nearest assigned public school, sit your azz down, keep your mouth shut, obey the teacher, and fill your brain?

    That's easier to do for the sane child than getting a firearm.

    • Mettaintheworld

      EXACTLY…I wouldnt know where to get a gun (not legally) and I'm 40 flippin' years old. if they can put THAT much energy into doing something BAD, then put that same energy into doing something good!!!

  • safety guy

    Wouldn't it be so much better if all elected officials were ex military instead of spoon fed sons of politicians?

  • annonmis

    This is what happens when rappers are glorified for their actions. its not the governments job to take care of you or anyone. the department of justice needs to enforce more harsh punishment for drugs, violent crimes, and firearm abuse. when a rapper talks about drug or human trafficking or murder they need to be arrested and charged severely. we also need to stand up to the government and reduce dependence on other people. I was raised on food stamps, my family of four received nearly 600$ a month along with section 8 housing. this encourages laziness while adding to an ever growing economic debt. Personally I feel that if we were to hold public hangings of murderers it would discourage this type of action in children

    • IndyGuy

      "when a rapper talks about drug or human trafficking or murder they need to be arrested and charged severely"

      Get a grip. Have you ever heard of the 1st ammendment, its that one that says the government cannot limit what you say.

  • Think Deeper

    Ugh! I'm a 30-something year old male and I need somewhere to go….that doesn't take all my singles! In any event, why does the community have to provide for them? God I wish I could be a POS and have people talk about fun things they can do for me. How about we just hold the parents accountable and they'll make sure their kids have something to do?! I know they've been talking about holding parents accountable after those teen on the crime spree. They've been talking about making laws….but they already have one. The legal definition of child endangerment is (I believe #2 covers it (hehe….#2!)):__1._He or she knowingly directs or authorizes a child under a defined age to engage in an occupation involving a substantial risk of danger to his life or health

  • Think Deeper

    2.He or she, as a parent, guardian or other person legally charged with the care or custody of a minor, fails to exercise reasonable diligence in the control of such child to prevent him or her from becoming a "dependent child" or a "delinquent child".
    3.He or she knowingly permits a child under a defined age of age to enter or remain in a house of prostitution.
    4.He or she knowingly sells, furnishes, gives away or offers to sell, furnish or give away to a child under a defined age any intoxicating liquor, cigarettes, tobacco, air rifles, gunpowder, smokeless powder or ammunition for firearms.
    5.Being the parent, foster parent, guardian or other person having the care and custody of the child, cruelly treats that child by abuse, neglect or extreme punishment.

  • Shakeer

    Talk, Talk,Talk…They have been having these meetings for years and the animals are still out there shooting and killing at will. Its just a bunch of crap, nothing will be done until spineless Curry decides to put these animals away for good. But that will not happen. These gutter rats will be out soon,doing what they do….and the mother had the gaul to tell us that her son was such a nice young man….Really?????,,lady your gangster son is a stone cold killer.Lets all pray that your son becomes Bubbas meat toy in prison.

  • Old Fashioned

    A lot of parents seem to have abdicated their responsibility. If they won't take their teens in hand, the legal system has to step in. The rest of us have a right to feel safe when out in public. Saying there is "nothing for these teens to do" is a cop-out. Those who go bad, don't put them in jail as punishment. Put them in boot camp for a few months. Set them to work. Some hard labor and strict discipline would leave them too tired to get into mischief. There's plenty of need out there: repairing and painting houses for the poor or elderly; digging gardens; sweeping streets and picking up trash along roads and in parks; demolishing abandoned houses. Mixed in with some guidance and career help, a modern version of the old "chain gang" isn't such a bad idea.

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