#Dallas365Safe Discusses Reducing Youth Crime

#Dallas365Safe Call to Action meeting
#Dallas365Safe Call to Action meeting | Image by Justin DeSales/The Dallas Express

District 4 Council Member Carolyn King Arnold hosted the #Dallas365Safe Call to Action meeting on Thursday afternoon alongside the Dallas Police Department, Violence Interrupters, and other community partners to discuss how to keep children in the city from becoming involved in crime.

The groups gathered to address a recent spike in crime reported in District 4, which has prompted other meetings as well, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Arnold opened the meeting, which DX attended, by saying that Dallas children are “entitled” to feel safe 365 days a year, and it is the responsibility of #Dallas365Safe, a multijurisdictional public safety and community partnership launched in 2020, to determine the best ways to provide that to everyone in the city.

“We have to give a signal. And that signal is that we care about our community and that we want it to be safer,” Arnold said.

Antong Lucky, the founder and former leader of the Dallas 415 Bloods Gang, who has now become a public safety advocate, spoke about how important it is to help kids turn their lives around early, noting that “it’s critical for public safety” that the police have a relationship with the community.

“We have to have that relationship. It has to be a real relationship,” Lucky added.

Sonja Campbell Currie, development director of Youth Guidance in Dallas, expressed a similar idea. She said the relationship with the younger generation is key to reducing crime in that group, explaining that many adults “don’t listen to [youth]” when they try to open up about their situation.

“We keep asking them, what do they want? They’re telling us, but we’re not listening, guys,” she added. “We’re not listening. Then we want to be, you know, active on the back end. After somebody’s killed. As a mom, I don’t want to hear this.”

Currie further explained that building these relationships would mean bringing every child forward and ensuring that none of them are left behind.

“We’re leaving three or four kids, so you know if you have just one bad apple in that group, they can talk the other three into shooting up with the other two,” she said to the group. “So if you’ve got that one, that one person, they sit there long enough, then it’s just like a cancer. You’ve got a cancer in your finger, but they sit there long enough. What is it? They metastasize.”

The group agreed that reaching the children early on would be key to reducing crime in the community while ensuring that no child is left behind by his peers.

Although the meeting wrapped up without concrete steps to lower crime in the city, particularly among youth, the group agreed to come to the next meeting with plans for creating a safe space for children in the community.

The #Dallas365Safe group recognized that many children are looking for a safe space to help them avoid the dangers in their communities, but the lack of these locations makes it hard to avoid crime. Providing these spaces can help the children stay on the right track while also learning valuable life skills for the future.

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