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Toledo parents voice concerns over public safety and summer programs at city council meeting

Summer programming is one of the ways the city says it's working to keep young people safe and out of trouble. But parents are saying, "not so fast."

TOLEDO, Ohio — Public safety took center stage once again at Toledo City Council.

The recent violence and homicides are topics city leaders are unable to avoid and people want answers.

This time, it's summer programming. 

It's one of the ways the city says it's working to keep young people safe and out of trouble.

While we've heard local leaders say this could help reduce violence, parents are saying "not so fast."

"I have and 10 and 9 year old and I can't take that chance that I send them somewhere to stay out of trouble, enjoy the summer and they lose their life," Teanna Jones said.

Jones is just one parent voicing concern over putting her kids in the city's summer programs and it's all because of the recent violence.

She's not alone either. Councilwoman Cerssandra McPherson said people in her district have said the same thing.

"How are we going to convince parents now, with these shootings, to send the kids to these programs?" McPherson said.

Parents believe the idea is great and has benefits, but it's the location that has them thinking twice.

"There's a few but with my children's interests, the camps at the Douglass Center, that's located close to Cherrywood and that's the location of a gang," Jones said. "Then Mott Library is still close to that location; it's every location that I can see".

RELATED: Toledo police reveal territories for the city's gangs

Toledo Police Chief George Kral said TPD will be out in the community this summer by using the TPD ice cream truck and having officers at city pools.

But McPherson says there needs to be a plan to protect as many of these programs as possible because, without the children, it's all for nothing.

"We've got to have the children in the programs," McPherson said. "We've committed $2.5 million. we've signed up, people have applied for the funding, they've outlined their programs and they've been approved."

These parents just want to know that their kids will be safe and right now, they say the safest place is at home.

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