Summit tries to solve rising juvenile crime rate - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Summit tries to solve rising juvenile crime rate

More and more young people are passing through juvenile court for things like aggravated assault, robbery and carjacking.

By and large, the percentage of juvenile crimes in Memphis is on the rise. But one group is trying to tackle the problem by talking about it. 

A forum on youth crime and violence gave teenagers a chance to tell grown-ups what's going wrong. The teens had the ears of elected officials, and leaders in law enforcement. While they talked about peer pressure, drug, gangs, mental illness, ultimately they all came back to one thing.

"Parents need to be caring for their kids," said ninth grader Bobby Crowe. "You can't just one day, uh, I don't have a kid. I'm gonna do what I want to do. You have to do what you are responsible for."

The group also talked about solutions. How to make children feel more loved and secure in today's world and how to give them opportunities to do good.

"Just like an employer looks for a good applicant, I think the drug dealer, there's no question he looks for a good candidate so that he can push his drugs and carry his weapons," said Director Larry Godwin of the Memphis Police Department.

"Our challenge is to say to them, although the world looks big and with a touch of the button you're around the world, but you don't have to touch that button. All you have to do is reach out. And I'm right here. I'll put my arm around you," said Mayor A C Wharton.

Crowe, the high school freshman, had a simple challenge for everyone.

"I wish people would reach out more...stop being so afraid," he said.

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