Charlotte leaders working to enhance public safety focusing specifically on teen violence

Numerous city leaders and community organizations are seeking solutions to create a safer environment for the youth.

The impact of gun violence weighs heavily on every community, and every family. 

“I lost my nephew to gun violence a couple of years ago so it hit close to home,” Charlotte City Council Member Victoria Watlington said at a community event Tuesday. “I’m trying to see what can I do from where I sit to change the outcome for someone else.”

Numerous city leaders and community organizations are seeking solutions to create a safer environment for the youth. Watlington is calling on community leaders to use an all-hands-on-deck approach, also including the youth, to have a seat at the table. 

“It shouldn’t happen in your community, you should be able to feel safe in your community and school,” West Charlotte High School student Malachi Thompson said.

Some of the problems CMPD highlighted are the growing number of incidents starting behind keyboards on social media, and ending with using guns in our streets.

Others in the community addressed the concern that many kids are aging out of programs available, eventually finding themselves in conflict.

“It’s because of a lot of peer pressure, want to be like our friends, and that sometimes gets to the mind,” Thompson said.

Some solutions community members are working to implement focus not only on treating the conflict but also on treating the person. They’re not only pushing to build connections with the youth but also with their families because everything starts at home.

“Doing this lets us all know you care,” Thompson said.

Thompson said he’s also working to be a part of the solution with hopes of setting a positive example for his peers.

“I’m using my platform to teach other Black men to use their voice instead of their hands.”

Read the original at WCNC Charlotte.

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