Cohen, federal officials work to reduce youth violence

Rep. Steve Cohen
Rep. Steve Cohen

By Jamel Major - bio | email

WASHINGTON (WMC-TV) - Congressman Steve Cohen met with local officials, community activists, and two top-level members of the Obama administration Wednesday to work out a plan to reduce youth violence.

"Ways to get youth involved and attack the problem at its core in a holistic fashion," Cohen said by telephone Thursday.

Cohen said the federal government has the resources for a comprehensive plan to help the city fight a growing crime problem.

"Being on that front end to see young people get good counseling (and) mentoring," he said. "Parents have to be involved and make sure they don't get a record early."

It will be a long-term project that will address the needs of youth in the city.

"Too many young people get a mark on their record early," Cohen said. "They never get jobs or an education, and we want to prevent that."

According to Cohen, it is estimated that up to half the crime in Memphis is related to gangs and drugs, and federal and local officials are hoping to change that statistic.  Officials hope to preserve the future of our youth by keeping them out of trouble and off the streets.

"We have to get resources together economically, and know that if you can prevent crime in the first place, police don't have to solve crime later on." he said.

Cohen hopes to get more feedback on the plan when federal and local officials meet again in May.

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