The shooting at the Music City Central bus station in downtown Nashville on Monday is an ugly but perfect example of young people responsible for and suffering from violence.
As police continue to sort out what happened, many are asking how Nashville gets its youth violence problem under control.
In 2015, more than half of the city’s murder victims were under the age of 25. More than half of the people arrested for those murders were also under 25.
In her State of Metro address on Friday, Mayor Megan Barry said she will announced aggressive funding requests for programs aimed at reducing youth violence.
“We really believe that if our youth are engaged in jobs, sports and activities, then they are not going to be involved in violence,” Barry said. “You put your budget where your priorities are, and you will see that on Friday.”
While the mayor would not reveal exactly what she will announce, the Nashville Youth Violence Task Force report offers some indication.
Perhaps the single biggest initiative is a public/private partnership aimed at getting 10,000 Nashville teenagers jobs by next summer.
Judge Sheila Calloway, the presiding juvenile court judge, said that program will absolutely make a difference.
“She wants to make sure that 10,000 kids have jobs by next summer. It’s a lofty goal, but we can do it,” Calloway said. “If we have 10,000 kids working side by side with adults that they can look up to, we are going to change 10,000 lives.”