Police in Columbus and other law enforcement in the Central Ohio area are working together to prevent continually rising teen crime. The current murder rates in Columbus are projected to surpass last year’s, and it has been found that many of the crimes involve teenage victims and perpetrators.
Operation: Game Over is a plan that police agencies have been collaborating on together to catch and stop teens who are committing crimes as serious as grand theft and other felonies. Police chief Glenn Nichol says that the crimes are becoming more severe and even deadly, while the teens who partake in them are getting younger.
Police were in for a shocking discovery when they were finally able to chase down the suspects driving a stolen car and accused of stealing from a Walmart. Inside the vehicle were five teenage girls, the oldest at 14 years old, and the youngest at just 12. Although the perpetrators were caught, judges and other law enforcement officials believe that arrests and jail time are not sufficient means of punishment or reform for juveniles in general. Usually, once kids are free, they immediately go back to committing crimes. What’s needed are proper prevention measures that guide kids away from a life of crime in the first place.
After school programs such as Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, are beneficial to public safety by helping kids engage in activities that boost their education levels and set them up for future success in their communities and beyond. Chief Andres Gonzalez, a member of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids for over a decade, provides details about how after school programming can improve quality of life and broaden opportunities for at-risk youth.
After school programs are a proven prevention measure, providing a safe space for youth in vulnerable communities; critical support so that parents can work; caring mentors for young people; and enrichment activities that help to rectify issues of inequity in our education system…
Besides striving to increase access to after school programs to reduce crime, police are encouraging teens to utilize the anonymous tip line to report any crimes they are aware of.
If more people come forward, less criminals will be able to incite violence upon the community.