INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With the start of summer around the corner, the city of Indianapolis and community leaders are getting teens together as part of a broader effort to cut down on kids committing crimes.
People 24-Hour News 8 talked to at Saturday’s event said this latest push is crucial now, especially with the weather warming up.
Activists said they’ve noticed a spike in teen crimes in Indianapolis, a pattern they’ve noticed over several years.
A study from Indiana University shows a spike from 2012 to 2015 in Indy murders of people under 18 — and a spike in kids killing, with each of those statistics more than doubling.
Leaders say it is important to keep the conversation going and show kids there’s a path forward without violence. Saturday morning, kids led talks about how to confront that head-on.
And then Saturday evening provided a night of fun, with pizza, soda and dancing in a safe environment.
Jaydon Martin, 16, he said he knows a lot of kids that are hanging out with the wrong crowd. He said having events, outlets and opportunities to have their voices heard could be a major step forward.
“Organizations and projects and get-togethers like this gives kids a chance and youth a chance as a whole to see what’s right for them rather than to jump in to what they see their friend doing or their friend’s friend and stuff like that,” he said.
This is the first event of many to come. Organizers said there are plans on having more of these fun, interactive events for kids on a regular basis, because they know one-day events will not create the change, but a continued effort might.