Local officials want to see youth crime rates decrease

School shootings and crime have been on the rise nationwide

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- The children are the future, and to keep that future bright; kids have to be safe.

School shootings and crime have been on the rise nationwide; at. Local school officials and law enforcement want to see the kids in the community succeed in all aspects of life; doing that starts with keeping youth away from violence.

“Children are going to be children and they need an outlet so let’s provide them a positive outlet one that can produce activities that they won’t be able to get in trouble in,” said Columbus police chief Fred Shelton.

Shelton said that national issues have trickled down to the local level and it’s time to talk about it.

“In light of what’s been going on around the country with school shootings and violence around the country we need to have that conversation,” said Shelton.

Stopping youth crime all together is impossible, but there are things that can be done to minimize its impact. That all starts with coming together and developing a plan.

“One of the things that we constantly encourage our citizens. If you see something or hear something; report it. If there are a bunch of children on the street and seem like they’re about to fight call the police,” said Shelton.

Shelton said that most of a child’s time is spent outside the classroom.

The Columbus Municipal School District is working on ways to keep those outside events from coming into the school house; which starts with a community meeting, involving district leaders, parents, and residents.

Shelton knows there’s strength in numbers.

“No one agency the police department, the school system, Mississippi department of corrections, the court system. No one agency can do it by themselves, we must all work together,” said Shelton.

Shelton said finding a child’s interests and getting them involved in constructive activities can help direct their energy in a positive way.

“We have the boys and girls club. We have Columbus park and Rec so we have other entities and places where the children can congregate and have fun and be children,” said Shelton.

Shelton said the impact of the meeting won’t be immediate, but if the city’s kids can find positive outlets, he anticipates crime rates to drop in Columbus.

Categories: Local News