HOUMA, LA (WVUE) - Terrebonne Parish leaders say community involvement is key when it comes to crime and safety. It's why they're asking the public to join them for the parish's first-ever Crime Prevention Summit on Saturday.
The summit is organized by Councilman John Navy. He says it will address a variety of issues, from street violence to bullying in schools.
"I really believe it's time for law enforcement and the community to have a serious relationship and a serious conversation," Navy said.
Navy's goal is to increase communication between the public, law enforcement and elected officials. The summit was planned before the recent fatal officer-involved shooting of a Houma teen.
"I'm sure people will have some questions regarding that matter," Navy said. "We're ready to address any issues or any concerns that the public may have."
But Navy wants the summit to go beyond that one case. It will also include discussions about ways to prevent crime and increase safety.
The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office, along with the District Attorney and other local law enforcement will also attend. Sheriff Jerry Larpenter says it's a chance to answer questions and get ideas from the community.
"Come together with our community," Larpenter said. "Not only that, but show what programs we have to offer and get the students involved."
That's why they've invited student leaders from Terrebonne Parish schools to take part, as well.
"It's important to include young people, because those are the people grooming to be future leaders," Navy said. "Young people definitely need to be part of the process."
There are plans for a bigger, regional summit, but the focus is on community involvement this year. Leaders want people to play an active role in improving the area.
The summit starts at 9 a.m. at the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center.