YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – This week in our In-Depth segment, WKBN Community Affairs Director Dee Crawford spoke with Youngstown Police Chief Carl Davis about the biggest challenges facing the department in the face of a declining population.
Davis points to the youth of the city.
“I don’t shy away from my faith. I implore everyone: please, let’s pray for our young people. Young people are killing young people,” Davis said. “During my watch as police chief in a year and a half, we’ve had five teenagers that were shot.”
Davis read aloud the names of 14-year-old Landon Lockhart, 16-year-old Isaiah Walker, 16-year-old Malik Stewart, 17-year-old Rashad Biggs, Jr. and 10-year-old Persayus Davis-May.
“We need some serious and comprehensive legislation in place to address this gun violence. We need some long-term solutions, I believe. And the police, even though we respond to these shootings, we should not be the only solution to the gun violence,” Davis said.
Davis announced last year the newly-formed Neighborhood Response Unit because of the increase in gunfire on the South Side.
“This is a unit made up of six patrol officers and a supervisor who target these trouble areas,” he said.
Davis also reached out to Pastor Kenny Simon and the United Pastors to help. A series of marches were held on the South Side.
“The people were very responsive to that. I believe that prayer does work,” Davis said.
Davis said responsibility starts at home and in the community.
“I have four brothers. There were five boys and a girl, and we all grew up with responsible adults. I’m blessed enough to have my mom and dad. My dad is 90 years old. He can light us up right now and tell us not to move, and you better believe we won’t move. So, we need to get back to that discipline and training in the homes,” he said.
On First News at 5 p.m. Thursday, Davis speaks on how fighting crime starts with community involvement.