Stop the Violence: Youth Programs In LR to be Assessed

- LITTLE ROCK, AR - Violence is still plaguing Little Rock's streets and now Mayor Mark Stodola is calling on city administrators to conduct an inventory on all programs to see what is working and not working to stop the violence.

"It's going to be a labor intensive process," says Bruce Moore, Little Rock City Manager.

Bruce Moore is doing what it takes to change that image. They'll compile a list of programs to see which ones are helping our youth succeed.

"Having a document that we can have to examine what the gaps are, I think is going to be helpful," says Moore.

Especially in an ever changing society, "With the advent of technology and social media there are a lot of things that we used to do that is no longer effective," says Moore.

Police are also collaborating, providing several programs to reach Little Rock's young African American men.

"That idle mind is a terrible thing and if we're able to get them involved in something that keeps them off of he streets and something that keeps them away from that life style," says Lt. Sidney Allen, Little Rock Police.

Mayor Stodola also calling on all preachers to get out of the sanctuary and into the streets. Reverend Benny Johnson is already playing an active role.

"There's not an 'I' in Teamwork, it's a we, so we need to all work together," says Rev. Benny Johnson. "What can we do help, what you can do to help us, we invite them to church and invite them to get more involved in their community."

Reverend Johnson goes door to door and found a majority of them were positive about change. He believes churches can do more to be available.

"If you look a lot of times, church doors are open on Sundays and Wednesdays, but the rest of the week they're not open," says Rev. Johnson.

The city expects to complete the inventory of programs in about two months. On the national level, the leading cause of death for African American men and boys aged 16 to 24 is homicide. Every 15 days, we lose 435 members of our communities to violence. Of the 11 homicides in Little Rock this year, all victims and suspects are young African American.

To keep up with Susanne Brunner's stories, "Like" her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter.

More Stories

Don't Miss

Latest News