Academy is showing some benefits

Many of the recent statistics look promising, but crimes involving juveniles, especially juvenile victims, still require the community’s attention.

From 2010 to 2012, juvenile crime has dropped in many statistical subcategories in Warren. Drug possession and abuse dropped from 24 cases in 2010 to 12 in 2012, burglary dropped from 17 to 3 over that time and robbery from 12 to 4.

Overall, there were 190 juveniles processed through the Warren Municipal Court in 2008 compared to 161 in 2012.

In one weekend last month, however, a 19-year-old was shot, a 16-year-old was cut in the chest and a 17-year-old was jumped and pistol-whipped. And even though juvenile crime seems to be on the decline, some statistics remain troubling. The number of incidents of juveniles found with weapons in school increased from 3 in 2010 to 11 in 2012, and juvenile assault cases increased from 15 to 17.

The idea of encouraging more teens to participate in the city police department’s Warren Citizens Police Academy sounds like a good one to steer kids in a crime-free direction. It should also be beneficial to keep juveniles away from places where they could become victims.

The next academy starts Sept. 11. It runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Wednesday at the police department. In its third year, the 8-week program helps citizens understand and assist law enforcement.

In addition to teens, we also encourage parents, guardians and mentors of young people to participate. Other communities should launch similar programs.