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COMMUNITY VOICE

We all need to meet together to discuss how to stop this violence

Friday, March 29, 2013 - 12:01 am

I’m addressing the violence in our city.

I think the Urban League is on the right track in holding meetings for the community to address the violence in our city. It’s a good beginning, and I hope it snowballs and becomes a regular vehicle to stop this violence. I would like to suggest a larger meeting arena where more people would be able to come together.

I also would love to see the police department representatives and the mayor there, working with the citizens in coming up with solutions to violence by brainstorming solutions that will prevent the violence.

I have made a list of all the violent acts committed in Fort Wayne the past few months and do not need to repeat that list here. We all know that drugs, theft, home invasions and murders are all catalysts in keeping our city unsafe. Much as I like you, Mr. Mayor, Fort Wayne is not the safest place to be. People aren’t comfortable with all these murders, thefts and drug deals, and we all become victims when we have robberies of drug stores, banks, other businesses and our homes.

Innocent citizens are drawn into this violence just by hearing about it on the news, reading the papers or social media. It doesn’t matter how much you are trying to comfort people, the violence is rampant, and it must stop. It affects us physically, emotionally and psychologically, and until it is stopped the private citizens remain victimized.

I cannot imagine the trauma the passengers on the bus who witnessed that poor woman being murdered were experiencing! How will that affect them? Will they be able to forget it and go on as though nothing happened? I don’t think that will be very easy.

My deepest appreciation and thanks to all our police officers, whether on foot, in patrol cars or in special operation teams for all they do for our city. The hours of training, meetings and preparing are invaluable to us as a community. I thank you for your many, many hours of hard work, stress and abilities to solve heinous crimes. We pray for your safety. God bless you all!

Learn to trust your law enforcement people. Their job is to keep us safe. If you see criminal behavior, report it. Call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 436-7867.

We need to understand how criminal behavior begins, and if we can do that, we might have a good chance of stopping it before it does begin in the future. You know, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We all know that the family environment is critical to raising children, problems such as poverty, education, parental support and love, and family, all contribute to the child’s well-being. If these are not positive, caring and on-going, then the child gets acceptance in other ways.

How a child is punished after breaking rules is all part of how the child will behave in later years. Child neglect, abuse, etc., are some of the reasons why children develop criminal behavior. Peer pressure is another reason that some of our children engage in activities they normally would not engage in. Peer pressure is extremely powerful, and I’ve seen many students in my classes over the years cave in to peer pressure and some have lost their lives. So heart-breaking!

The environment is the greatest factor that accounts for our children’s behaviors. If a young child has aggressive behavior in preschool, kindergarten, etc., and it’s not dealt with, chances are, they will become outcasts, and this often pushes them toward children with the same negative tendencies. Stop this before it takes hold.

Let’s begin to form neighborhood groups that meet and help each other with seeing potential problems in neighborhoods and developing support systems with each other. In addition to the neighborhood meetings, people can come together to discuss what they’ve seen in their neighborhoods, and discuss potential solutions.

I believe having school counselors available at these meetings would be helpful. They are able to describe the negative behaviors in children, and ways to stop them. There are some extremely strong, knowledgeable counselors in high schools who have dealt with violence (several come to mind who have been invaluable), and violence therapists in our community, who may be able to advise our community. Use these resources, their expertise. We have very talented people out there.

Form your committees, assess home behaviors and how they are dealt with, and be watchful in your neighborhoods. (Remember the Neighborhood Watch Committees in the ’80s?) Number one priority is the safety of the community, and especially your children and your elderly who live alone. Keep your houses locked, and your garage doors down. Don’t invite crime.

We all need to meet and discuss how to disarm and how to prevent this violence.

Together we can make a difference.

Katharine M. Scatena is a resident of Fort Wayne.