Valdosta organization urges parents in the community to help stop the violence

Valdosta organization urges parents in the community to help stop the violence

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - The head of a Valdosta organization is asking for parents to step up after two shootings involving teens happened this weekend.

At last check, a 14-year-old was in critical condition after police said a 16-year-old family member shot the teen Saturday on Melrose Drive.

Another 14-year-old was shot in the chest Sunday near East Alden Avenue and Williams Street. There has been no word on the teen’s condition. Officers said a 14-year-old was taken into custody.

Citizen Against Violence Ministry said keeping teens away from crime starts at home.

Citizen Against Violence Ministry
Citizen Against Violence Ministry (Source: WALB)

“Trying to work with these kids but I can’t do it all by myself,” said JD Martin, the organization’s CEO.

Martin urges parents to know where their children are and who they’re with.

“We are letting a few bad apples in the community destroy the good apples, and gangs have been on the rise and playing it off like they don’t exist,” said Martin.

Tony Sampson and Jewel Crowder are members of the organization’s SOUL Patrol. They target different locations and patrol the streets.

“If you are in the neighborhood, regardless if we are patrolling the area or not, your vehicle needs to be locked at night. Some of these kids, when they get out of school, they’re going to be out roaming and if they see a vehicle open, they’re going to go in and through it. And a lot of people carry guns in their vehicles. So keep the car locked,” said Sampson.

The organization encourages you to lock your guns up at home.

They also said mentoring is the key to help stop the violence. If more organizations get involved, they feel more teens can receive help.

The organization provides programs like the Venture Club and the Youth Leadership Team.

If you would like to get involved, you can find out more about the organization here. You can also reach out to JD Martin by phone at (229) 292-8979.

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