NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -New Orleans city leaders gathered Thursday to figure out a way to prevent juvenile crime.
“It’s takes everyone to make this work. This is more than just a New Orleans Police Department issue,” said Chief Shaun Ferguson.
The National Guard, EMS, District Attorney, Public Defender’s office, NOPD and many more spent the day in one room.
“Today is really important because we really see in our community that our young people, our juveniles are crying out for help. We see their behaviors, and we know that their cry for help means that our behavior needs to change in order to address them,” says Aminata Brown.
While those in the room don’t always agree on solutions, they’ve decided something needs to be done about juvenile crime and making it happen will have to be a collaborative effort.
“Come and let’s talk about something that we can do. Identify some actionable items that we can really move forward with making sure that we are giving our youth the best opportunity that they can to have a future for themselves and their families,” said Chief Ferguson.
“Across all agencies, across all organizations, we know that the problems our juveniles face in this city can’t be solved by one entity,” says Brown.
Juvenile crime has been an issue for months. Chief Ferguson says officers are arresting juveniles over and over again. He says most are committing car burglaries, but many are also carrying guns and creating dangerous situations.
“I received a lot of criticism in regards to the curfew, but we also charged and asked parents to be more accountable for their kids and where they are and I think we have seen that. The kids are being more accountable. The parents are being more accountable,” says Chief Ferguson.
Ferguson says his department has already seen a decrease in juvenile crime, but it is still happening and something must be done about it.
“This is not a meeting. We are not here to talk to each other. We are here to work together, and come up with what things we can do right away to create some positive change and get us moving in the right direction,” says Brown.