Developing solutions to gang violence

A group of preachers and police teamed up in Memphis Monday to develop solutions to gang violence. The officers and ministers are on a mission to stop gang related murders and other crimes. Their success could mean peace in a lot of Memphis neighborhoods.. Boston Reverend Eugene Rivers wears the collar of a minister now, but Monday he told Memphis officers about a violent past. "I'm a former gang member who got saved." Rivers eventually went to Harvard and started a gang prevention program called the 10-point Coalition, a program that has had great success decreasing gang violence in Boston."In fact a 62% drop in crime in Boston from 1991 to 1994." Rivers says youth crime dropped because police and preachers joined together in an effort to single out kids who were at risk for gang involvement, and then mentored to the youngsters through after school activities and other programs. Durand Martin, MPD said, "The kids can be reached. It's just a matter of putting together a coalition of the willing to help reach those kids who want help." Local lawmen are excited about the 10-point program, and they have high hopes for the variety of new after school and mentoring activities already underway at several Memphis churches. "And here again the big success is to getting the agenda of youth violence before the churches to get the churches thinking and talking about this."