Chief Craig addresses teen violence at NAACP meeting

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - New Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig talked about teen violence at the NAACP meeting Thursday night.

Chief Craig has said all along that part of his crime reduction initiative means getting more young people involved and helping them turn their lives around.

But the challenge is getting those most at-risk on-board.

Sporting his brand new NAACP membership pin, Craig "officially" arrived.

"I will join and have my application, it's just not filled out yet," Craig said, but before he could get another word in, the NAACP's historian whipped out a brand new pin and walked-up to place it on the Chief's chest.

He was inducted on the spot.

"I'm committed now," the Chief laughed and thanked the group.

Craig said it's time now to pull resources from all communities city-wide to stop the violence.

For Velma Weaver, who lives in Over-The-Rhine, it's a personal fight, as she's already lost two of her four sons.

"One was killed in 2006, and another one was killed in 2008," Weaver told the Chief. "They were both 18 years old, lost to street violence."

The Chief said arresting people is not the solution, but getting more people involved at a grassroots level is.

"So I'm here as a volunteer to help you in whatever way Chief," Weaver volunteered.

Steve Reece said he would like to see more patrols on the streets and have a better working relationship with the police in his district, District Four.

"To see if we can get the response times, a lady got broken in to across the street," said Reece. "It took three hours for officers to get over there and check it out."

"We'll take a look at all of that," said Craig. "But I do know we will be a top to bottom review of the police department."

"The root of the problem is bringing those guns into our communities," said another woman in the crowd. "Where are they coming from?"

"A lot of these young people don't have hope, we are all in this together, and it's not just the police, it's not just the NAACP, it's the West Side and the East Side, we are all in this together," said Craig.

Craig said a boot camp he initiated in Los Angeles during his time there had amazing success with young men at-risk.

Officers working with those teens for ten days hardcore, turned them from young people who had a hatred for the police, to young people who had a desire to become one.

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.