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Akron using grant to study youth violence conerns and look for solutions

Posted at 5:51 PM, Jun 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-22 17:51:29-04

Within a few weeks, Akron city and community leaders are expected to reveal plans, programs and resources to address the problem of youth violence.

Akron received a $22,500 grant from the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services.

The grant is paying a facilitator who is analyzing crime and other data while also advising the Akron Youth Violence Steering Committee.

The committee developed out of the need to address growing juvenile violent crime within the city and surrounding communities.

Project Ujima, which is based out of a church on South Hawkins Avenue is also playing a major role in the study.

According to statistics provided in the grant, 191 juveniles were arrested where a firearm was present between 2014-2016. During that same time period, 6,128 Akron police reports were taken where a juvenile was listed as a victim.

In 2013, the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods at Case Western Reserve University surveyed Akron and Summit County high school students about violent behaviors.

Among the findings, 15.3 percent of students carried some kind of weapon.

Akron City Councilman Veronica Sims said the study and plan are being discussed and finalized among several significant partners. She hopes the final product will make a  difference on city streets.

"The city of Akron is very serious about putting together a plan to help our young folks. We value our young folks," Sims said. "We know how important it is to try to turn this tide for not just their future, but the future of our city."