MEMPHIS, Tenn. — With summer right around the corner, community and religious leaders are coming together, hoping to curb juvenile crime.

Shelby County Commissioner Henri E. Brooks said, “If we’re not going to do anything, then let’s shut up.” She thinks it’s time to stop talking about how to curb juvenile crime and actually do it. “What they need to keep them into some kind of constructive activity and not involved in the negative activity in the street.”

The fight to lower the crime rate among kids was the main topic of discussion among city officials and community leaders.

Brooks, who’s over District 7, said she’s working to put power back into the community– starting with churches. “Since we have so many churches, one on every corner if you will, let’s open up those doors and let those children come in.”

Thursday morning, Brooks hosted a Pastor Prayer breakfast. The goal was to encourage conversations among church leaders on providing safe spaces for teens and kids looking to venture away from negative activities.

“Let’s just be real. Black children suffer from constructive locations where they can let loose some of their energy,” Brooks said.

Dr. Telisa Franklin is the Executive Assistant for Willing Souls Church in North Memphis, and she says community leaders need to be more proactive in fighting juvenile crime. “Let’s make sure the doors are open for our young people. Summer is approaching. What are we doing to push our young people to their purpose?”

Various organizations, Memphis Shelby County School staff members and the Shelby County Sheriff’s office joined in on the conversation.

Commissioner Brooks says even though they are still early in the planning process, the work to get more kids off the streets is well underway. “You know how babies do when they want your attention. They start to act out. So, that’s what a lot of this acting out is about. We’ve got to start hugging our children in a positive way.”

Brooks says once the details are finalized, it will be released through schools and churches in the community.