Political and faith-based leaders held a press conference today to discuss violence in the community.
It was sparked by a fight at Northwoods mall last Saturday, several people were involved causing the mall to go on lockdown.
Leaders said they’re looking to pursue change in the city’s youth but they also made it clear that change starts at home.
“To change crime it takes the community, that is not a law enforcement exclusive deal,” said Police Chief Jerry Mitchell.
Leaders are using Mitchell’s statement as motivation to inspire change in the River City. Officials believe the biggest issue in the community is communication.
Pastor Deveraux Hubbard said, “It’s really the broader issues that we see in our community that generates concern for us to say we really have to work harder to communicate.”
All leaders agree deterring these issues starts at home.
“We realize it really begins with the family and we have to encourage families to have conversations,” said Hubbard.
Leaders also believe parents must start early to impact the youth in the community.
Mitchell continued, “If 15-year-olds are making poor choices then the time to address them is not at 15, the time to address them is at 13.”
While crime is an issue in the community, leaders also say that crime has gone down.
“If you looked at our crime rate today and you compare it and pick a year, I’ll go all the way back to 2000, its half that rate,” said Mitchell.
So we looked at the numbers and Mitchell’s claim was accurate.
If you look at the city’s crime rate from the past 5 years, murders alone have decrease by 25.5%, sexual assault is also down 20%.
Ultimately leaders say they’re ready to inspire change but believe it take it takes a village to raise a child.
“It really does take all of us no one person or entity,” said Hubbard.
The police department made it clear that throughout the Thanksgiving weekend and the rest of the holiday season there will be a heavier police presence at both Northwoods and Grand Prairie Malls.
Police also reminded the public, if you see something suspicious say something immediately.