Toledo community leaders meet to discuss gun violence

Toledo community leaders meet to discuss gun violence
(Source: WTOL)

So far, there have been 16 homicides in Toledo in 2017. Tragically, six of the victims were under the age of 20.

Those numbers are startling to all who live and work in Toledo, especially for those who spend their days preventing crime.

"Put the guns down. Put the guns down its useless. Put the guns down," said Pastor Cedric Block of the Interdenominational Ministers Alliance.

Pastor Block was one of several who voiced frustration after 16-year-old Todd Davis was found shot to death Tuesday morning.

"As we look at some of those crime stats and the different violent acts that are taking place, what we need to know is our children need jobs," said  Alicia Smith of the Toledo Youth Commission. "Those who can work and they need safe places to come of our community centers."

Toledo's Youth Coalition links teens to job, gets them involved in arts, sports  and programs at community centers

"How do we engage every element of that child to create a citizen that we can count on to be a productive citizen of our community?" Smith said.

These adults are hoping to show kids they can have a future away from guns and gangs.

"I'm talking with these kids that guns don't work," Block said. "College works, guns don't. Work education works. Work works so that they can have a future."

Though there has been a recent surge in homicides over the past five days, Chief George Kral says shootings are down this year compared to last year. This brings some comfort in a community working to protect Toledo's youth.

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