Update on Montgomery mayor’s youth initiative to fight juvenile crime

Montgomery mayor updates youth crime fighting initiative

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It’s been almost two years since Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange introduced a youth initiative to help fight against juvenile crime.

The mayor said his idea for the initiative stemmed from a “rash of incidents involving youth.”

“One was at Bellingrath and the other was a teenager in Chisholm," Strange said.

Strange coordinated a committee to help with his initiative. The committee consists of several community leaders who work with Montgomery’s youth, including the Central Alabama Community Foundation.

“We’re just another voice on that task force to help in any way we can, whether it be through funds or organizations to see what we can do to add value to what the task force wants to do in the community," Burton Crenshaw, President of the Central Alabama Community Foundation, said.

Since the beginning, the mayor has been focused on three issues facing Montgomery’s youth: conflict resolution, parenting and mentoring.

“Trying to help parents be better parents. Trying to mobilize the community and the churches to do things that are going to make the life of that child in that community better," Strange said.

One of Strange’s long-term goals for the youth initiative is to see parents held responsible for their children.

“The other thing we wanted to do, and we’re beginning to get some traction, is to begin to hold parents accountable for the actions of their children,” Strange said.

Since the initiative’s inception, the mayor said he has seen improvements with the youth in Montgomery, but that there’s still a long way to go.

“You’re never happy when you see a tragedy affect a family and we continue to have too much of that, but you ask yourself, ‘Well, if we hadn’t been doing this over the last two or three years what more would you have out there?’ So, we celebrate success when we see it, and we try to make sure that others can see that there is something that can be done to make that family’s life better," Strange said.

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