MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County leaders met to discuss juvenile crime at a public forum, and
citizens gathered to learn what was being done and how they could help curb the crime rate.
It was standing room only at the Crime Commission Forum on Juvenile Crime at New Salem Baptist Church.
Memphians were anxious to hear from the panel that included Juvenile Court Judge Tarik Sugarmon and Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis.
“Well, it’s exciting for one thing, and it does say to me that people want to be a part of the conversation. They want to be a part of the solution,” said Davis.
The panel discussed everything from teens with guns, car thefts, mental health, and parent involvement.
“Some of the answers rest in the homes of parents who sometimes don’t know where their children are. I know that is the elephant in the room, but in order to get past the hurt, we have to dig into the wound a little bit deeper,” Davis said.
Judge Sugarmon says adults should also listen to the youth.
“Until we listen to the kids and start dealing with the real problems they are confronting in their communities, we are not actually going to formulate a plan and a program that they are going to follow,” said Sugarmon.
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Those in attendance had many questions for the panelist.
“I’d like to see our parents with these children get some counseling too. What can we do,” asked one of the attendees.
There was so much interest at the Crime Commission that time ran out before the panelists could answer everyone’s questions.
Kushmir Muhamma, an attendant, wanted to know, “What are we doing to proactively prevent violence in our community? It seems that most of our issues and our resolutions are reactive instead of proactive.”
Chief Davis told the crowd that she and her staff have weekly meetings on how to stop youth violence.