Law enforcement officials join together with students to stop the violence

Photo provided by staff.

POSTED: Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 6:06pm

UPDATED: Friday, April 18, 2014 - 5:39pm

It seems every night, we're telling you about something violent that happened in our area, but there are some people who say there is something we can do about it. It starts in our schools.

Gun shots, that's the sound people in Baton Rouge are far too familiar with.

"The initial reaction... it's sad. It's really sad," said Milika Sims, a senior at Capitol High school. "I think based off things that have happened, things that are happening, that's why a lot of people feel like my age-group is the most dangerous and reckless."

Fourteen to twenty-one-year olds, that's the age group the BRAVE project is focusing on because of the increased violence.

"So we can provide some type of direct communication with the students to let them know what BRAVE is really about and get them to communicate what they know to BRAVE, so we can intervene before more serious acts of violence occur," said Sgt. Herbert "Tweety" Anny, the project director of BRAVE.

That's why all these people are gathered in the Capitol High library, students, parents, law enforcement and city officials, to find a solution.

"A collaboration is what it's going to take to show some type of major impact. If we just work independently, as we've been doing before, that's not going to work," Anny said.

"There's always been a negative connotation toward law enforcement," Sims admitted. "So hearing from them and knowing that they are truly here not to just throw everyone in jail, they are here to kind of sort out the good and the bad."

So officials are talking to students to get down to what the real problems are.

"We see what happens in the community. We do have a voice. I believe that if we build a support system for everyone, I believe that we can show them that we care," Sims said.

Also, they are talking about some issues that are holding teens back.

"'Snitches get stitches,' I believe a lot of people live by that," Sims said.

"Simply put, they are in fear of retaliation. So if they call Crime Stoppers anonymously, then they won't have to fear by telling us what they know, that way we can provide intervention before it escalates," Anny said.

Police said having all these students here is a sign of progress.

"To see so many young people that concerned to be attentive throughout the whole program, that's humbling, and it's very encouraging too," Anny said.

If you want to learn more about the programs working to end violence in our neighborhood, you can go to the links below:

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