May 6


Teens and Cops Unite for Anti-Gun Violence Awareness Event

May 6, 2024

Vol. 104 No. 19

A group of dedicated 69th Precinct YCOs (Youth Coordination Officers) joined forces with students from the Canarsie Educational Campus and the Young Explorers club to organize a Walk Against Gun Violence.

The teenagers marched from Canarsie High to Conklin Avenue and East 96th Street, where the event concluded with a dinner and a small thank-you party for the students. Officer Dugue, the mastermind behind the April 26th initiative, along with several colleagues from the Youth Squad, conceived the idea to support the youth within our community. The officers utilized their own resources to plan and publicize the event, covering expenses such as food, venue and hiring a DJ to play the latest hits. The overall turnout and feedback from the participating teens was overwhelmingly positive.

Nasha, a teenager from Canarsie, and Reggie from East Flatbush, shared their perspectives with the Canarsie Courier, both expressing their support for the cause and their desire to make a difference in the community.

Nasha, who tragically lost her brother to gun violence, emphasized the importance of connecting with other teens to share her story. Reggie, an NYPD Explorer, aims to change how young people perceive the police in his community. When asked about addressing gun violence, they highlighted that many of the youths involved in such crimes seek validation within the community. They view the walk as a crucial step in raising awareness and initiating change. Reggie also pointed out that many kids grow up in unstable homes and find stability in the streets, a sentiment echoed by Officer Mayfield, also from the Youth Squad, with over 15 years of service to the NYPD.

Mayfield emphasized that much of the violence stems from online conflicts, territorial disputes and even disputes arising from music scenes. She noted the influence of older individuals persuading young people to commit crimes, often under the false assumption that they won’t be charged as adults for certain offenses. Commanding Officer Captain Dion Hinds, who was present at the event, emphasized to the teens the importance of staying connected and being leaders within their circles. He expressed pride in his team of officers for taking the initiative to organize the event and commended their hard work. He also pledged continued collaboration with the community and the 69th Precinct for future initiatives aimed at combatting gun violence.

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