'Conversation on crime' brings together community, law enforcement
After a violent winter in Marion County, there are some who are expressing fear for the next season.
"What are we going to do for these men, age 16 to 25," asks Nicole McGee at the city's first community conversation on crime.
McGee brought ideas because she could not bring her son. Andre was 24 when he was shot and killed at a club last summer. McGee says her son was an innocent bystander.
"I'm not going to stop fighting, I'm not going to stop talking, I'm not going to stop crying."
She asked the mayor and police to crack down on underage house parties and to post information and resources for young people to use.
Shatoya Jordan came to the meeting with her son. "Right now, they don't know things to do. They are in the street. They don't know there are programs out there for them," she said.
"They would just be bored at home," says her son, referring to kids who instead hit the streets.
"They're getting in trouble," his mom interjects. "I keep him very busy."
The city's crackdown on violent crime is showing results. While homicides are up 7% from this time last year, violent crime is actually down about 6%. If you add in property offenses, overall crime is down 16% this year.
"Those 20 most violent individuals we are pretty much watching them on a 24 hour basis, making sure we fully understand where they are," said Police Chief Rick Hite.
The city is pushing programs to help ex-offenders get back into society with jobs.
"We believe we are losing a generation of young men of color and we should just not be doing that," said Mayor Greg Ballard.