CONNECTING WITH YOUTHS
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
Montgomery County Commission Vice Chairman Dan Harris talked about reviving now-shuttered community centers that provided organized activities for youths. “Young people have not learned how to resolve disputes without resorting to violence,” he said. Harris said that the Cleveland Avenue YMCA “saved” his life growing up. He also praised some Montgomery Public Schools district’s programs, including Second Chance, which enables students who have been kicked out of a school a second chance to graduate. Harris said the program, which is limited to 30 students, needs to be expanded.
The director of Public Safety for the City of Montgomery said that the community needs to get engaged to stop crime. Although the overall crime rate fell about 7 percent last year, the 50 homicides was one of the highest totals ever.
Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery, said that the YMCA and boys and girls clubs are beneficial for youths. He would like to see a plan in place “that’s realistic and has accountability” to help youths.
Montgomery Business Journal March 2014
“What we need is this community to be angry about crimes – aggravated assaults; behaviors; but it’s not a police problem, it’s not the Legislature’s problem,” Chris Murphy said. “It is the community’s problem. The results and the solutions are community solutions.”
RISKY AND NON-RISKY BEHAVIORS Montgomery Police Chief Kevin J. Murphy said certain behaviors lead to someone being more likely to be a crime victim: dealing or using drugs; carrying stolen weapon(s); gambling; unemployment; prostitution; abusing alcohol and frequenting bars; having a low education level; and having multiple sexual partners. Chances are extremely slight of being a crime victim if someone is employed; married or monogamous; high-school educated or higher; drug-free; a homeowner; and a moderate drinker.
“Law enforcement does what I feel is a good job – a great job – of treating the symptoms, but law enforcement can’t treat the illness,” Murphy said. The Montgomery Violent Crime Commission was created and features a wide-ranging group to tackle crime from numerous angles. The Police Department has formed an intelligence unit, which among many other things monitors social media.