Valdosta community comes together to try and prevent youth violence

Video from WALB
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 7:42 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Crime has been on the rise in Valdosta, according to the Valdosta Police Department (VPD), however, the community is coming together to find solutions.

City leaders and residents came together and brainstormed several ways to try and win back the younger generation. They say there are programs available to help the youth in the community.

“Instead of us going in five different directions, what we’re hoping to do is streamline and come up with the things that’s going to be best. That we can all rally around to achieve the goal is set for,” Principal of Clyattville Elementary Dr. Tenry Berry said.

Councilwoman Vivan Miller-Cody and Mayor Scott Matheson led over 120 participants in their first discussion. They say they are relieved to know the community is on the same page.

“Our goal is to stop our kids from going to jail, to the grave, and from killing each other. So if we can get the community involved in this, it’s our way of saying we’re going to take back our children from this demon that is taking our children from mothers, grandparents, and from our community,” Miller-Cody said.

Councilwoman Miller- Cody says she and the mayor got it rolling. Now it's time for the...
Councilwoman Miller- Cody says she and the mayor got it rolling. Now it's time for the community to come together.(Source: WALB)

They say at their first meeting, everyone was able to voice their opinions, but this second meeting was for plans and actions. Councilwoman Miller-Cody says if they can save one child with these projects, they’re doing what they set out to do.

“Because otherwise, if we don’t have a focus, if we’re not intentional, then — it’s not going to work,” Dr. LaConya McCrae, induction support specialist for Valdosta City Schools said.

Dr. LaConya McCrae and Dr. Tenry Berry are two of the four people who will be over this new...
Dr. LaConya McCrae and Dr. Tenry Berry are two of the four people who will be over this new journey.(Source: WALB)

Stop the Violence Fun Day, is the first event that The Village of Valdosta and Reach Two have come together to host.

“So we’re going to all jump onboard with him, to help his event be a process of reaching the children. He’s going to have some testimonies of some young men that committed crimes, corrected they lives, and have started programs for our children to see that there are people that are here in our city that was once where they were,” Miller-Cody, said.

Stop the Violence Fun Day is one of the first events they are pushing to end violence.
Stop the Violence Fun Day is one of the first events they are pushing to end violence.(Source: WALB)

City leaders are saying they want everyone to think big but start small. Quality over quantity.