CLEVELAND, Ohio — Tuesday evening residents in Cleveland’s Third Ward gathered at the Urban Community School as Mayor Justin Bibb discussed a number of topics during a community forum that included safety.
“The first six months of my time in office, almost every major category of violent crime is down, but we still have a long way to go," said Bibb.
Shootings like one early Tuesday morning in the city’s Brooklyn Centre neighborhood impacted Bibb's goal of a safer city. CPD said a 15-year-old boy shot and killed a 14-year-old girl during an argument.
Watch more about that fatal shooting in the player below:
“It was hard to wake up and get that call 1 a.m.," said Bibb. “How did he get the gun? What led to that gun being in that household? We must address the root causes of this issue."
The mayor said just weeks ago that much of our gun related homicides are young men of color ages 18 to 29, but as of late the ages are even younger.
Debbie Stephens says shes noticed.
“Invest in the schools, let’s keep these kids off the street, let’s give them something to do,” said Stephens.
Bibb said the city is investing in programs like trauma counseling and Hoops After Dark, but added that's not the only solution.
“I’m imploring our parents to make sure you have productive things to do for our children. You can’t find something, call city hall and we’ll find something for your young child to do to keep them safe,” said Bibb. “Now more than ever, we all have a role to play.”
“I think they need to get a handle on these gangs,” said Stephens. “I think the gangs are the ones that are perpetrating a lot of the crimes involving these younger people to go out and do it."
While CPD reported a decrease in some areas of violent crime in first half of 2022, those impacted by crime still want to know what Bibb is doing to help them.
“We’re working to pay our officers more, an 11% pay increase over the next three years,” said Bibb. “I had a conversation yesterday with the head of the ATF to do more intelligence to cut down on gang activity."
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