Law enforcement, criminal law panel discuss limiting gun violence
In the last few weeks, the issue of gun violence and its impact on young lives has been felt across the city of Youngstown and beyond.
Those across the city of Youngstown gathered for a panel discussion working to find solutions with the help of criminal police reform at Metro Assembly of God Church on Youngstown's south side Monday evening.
A room full of concerned citizens and public figures discussing their ideas on how to put a stop to this cycle of violence. Panelists for the event included Youngstown Chief of Police Carl Davis, Youngstown Municipal Court Presiding Judge Carla Baldwin, Trumbull County Chief Parole Officer Vincent Peterson, Home for Good Executive Director Lola Simmons, and Youngstown City Prosecutor Kathy Thompson.
"What could we do as a community, as activists, and as citizens, what can we do to help advance criminal justice reform," explained Jaladah Alsam, Co-Convener of the MLK Planning Committee of Mahoning Valley.
The panel comprised of law enforcement and criminal law experts discussed how to limit gun crimes in the city.
Trumbull County Chief Parole Officer Vincent Peterson explained "rules without relationships bring rebellion." He is promoting a strengthened relationship between Police and youth.
"We talk about community policing, but community policing has to be more than just two or three officers that are in the neighborhood," Peterson said.
Panelists agree it's all about building relationships.
"It's important to build that report with the victims and with the witnesses of each case that we have that come across our desk," explained Youngstown City Prosecutor, Kathy Thompson.
"We have racial profiling training to cultural sensitivity training," said Carl Davis, Youngstown Police Chief. "But we have to do better in some areas. I think is encouraging minorities to get into law enforcement."
People say a faith-based solution could be the answer.
"We've taken prayer out of the schools and many parents today do not have a faith-based Christian religion," said Leslie Hood of Youngstown. "There is a large percentage of witchcraft going on in our society. That witchcraft mentality that people have is affecting our youth. Satan does not want our youth to progress and he's causing a lot of people to turn to witchcraft that is causing destruction within our society."
"We have a generation of young people who do not belong or attend any church," Chief Davis added. "Most serious of all, we have a generation of young people who do not fear God."
The crowd says parents need to step up and be the correct guidance for their kids as it all starts with how you are brought up. Organizers tell 21 News they hope to have more of these events in the future.