ATLANTA — It was a disturbing trend --nearly a dozen teens were shot and even killed, across the Metro Atlanta area over a three week stretch.
May 20, Jequan Strozier shot and killed in northwest Atlanta.
May 29, three teenagers were shot in a South Fulton neighborhood.
May 30, 18-year-old Joshua Torrance was shot in the back and later died at the hospital.
Last June, Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields pointed to gangs, difficult home life, and guns falling into the wrong hands, as reasons for the deadly month.
“A lot of parents were calling up here. We actually opened up the phone lines up on my show just to hear people vent about what they thought was going on. It was just a lot of pain in the city,” Reec Swiney, radio personality at HOT 107.9 mentioned.
He said last year’s shootings was a wake-up call to do more.
“Like hey, let’s get the word out about everything that is going on. So, during the summer of course we pop up at summer camps and do summer camp takeovers and just uplift the spirit at those camps. We try to get the word out about what’s going on in our city,” he explained.
“We have a number of people in our community who want to support the city and want to support the kids who have needs,” Chief Shields stated last June.
Police are also working to interact with teens in a different way. There’s the At-Promise Youth and Community Center on English Avenue.
Started by the Atlanta Police Foundation as a way to reduce juvenile crime.
“What we don’t want is what happened last year, with a string of shootings or just a batch of people just ruining their lives. So, what we’ve done is attacked it on the front in,” Swiney said.
Atlanta Police offers an internship program that gives college students a chance to work full-time with the department.
“Whether it’s summer camps, youth sports activities all that stuff. Myself, I try to pop up at those places and show those kids like hey, I’m doing this. I was just like you,” Swiney said.
Click here, for a list of activities and programs going on this summer.
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