Community organizers see positivity as a way to help curb violence in Youngstown

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The major issues will take time to resolve and see improvement

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The shootings around Youngstown are concerning for police and residents. Those who live in the city have seen the recent headlines.

The most recent is the police department’s shot spotter picking up nearly 50 shots fired on the south side Sunday night. A woman was hit in the leg.

Two women who work to make things better in the city think a positive atmosphere could help.

Bobbe Reynolds is part of the Northeast Homeowners Association and Mary Danus is with the Boulevard Park Block Watch. They’re ready to work on the problem.

“I think if we find an answer quickly, we could save more lives or at least be able to vent better. I think it’s very important for us to find some answers very quickly,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds and Danus believe community policing is important, but so are things like cleaning up neighborhoods, better housing, and just creating a better atmosphere by working together. They also believe community groups like theirs and others can help.

“They have very good programs for kids and very good programs for residents in the area as well. I think relying on them could help, too, to help resolve some of the issues,” Reynolds said.

The major issues will take time to resolve and see improvement. These women see big benefits with something as small as making more space to enjoy time outside and talking with neighbors. They continue to pursue creating more of those spaces, even talking to a city leader about it today.

“Let’s have people busy doing fun things. They won’t have time for the other stuff,” Danus said.

The city has been using extra police patrols in areas that have seen a high frequency of gun violence.
Other programs, like Steel Penguin, which the city would normally do during the summer, were tabled by COVID-19.

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