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National Statement on Youth Crime and Violence

RELEASED May 09, 2008

WHEREAS, the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc. (NABLEO), a 501©3 non-profit, is a premier national organization for men and women of color serving in the ranks of criminal justice system professionals, and has been in the forefront of bridging the gap between the community and the police; and

WHEREAS, our mission is to provide community-based solutions to policing issues which have a direct impact on communities of color and the pivotal roles that African American, Latino, and other criminal justice practitioners of color play; improve the quality of life in poor and low income communities; and strengthen the bonds between community members and their law enforcement guardians; and

WHEREAS, both local and national statistics for the numbers of youth in communities of color who have been injured or killed from acts of violence, particularly those involving firearms and other weapons, have risen to near epidemic proportions; and

WHEREAS, the use of firearms, other weapons and violence in general as a means of conflict resolution has been glamorized by the media in a blatant attempt to gain higher ratings, increased viewer-ship, and enhanced revenues; and

WHEREAS, scientific research and years of field experience have shown that youth crime can be greatly reduced by creating meaningful, quality programs that enhance family values, develop leadership abilities, strategically empower youth, and improve the relationship between youth and their law enforcement guardians; and

WHEREAS, community leadership must be held accountable for collectively assisting in the reduction of crime and youth violence, and creating an increased atmosphere of involvement and participation in the processes which must support such programs,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc herein adopts as its official youth involvement program the New Jersey Youth Symposiums, renaming it the Children of Courage Symposiums, and encourages school boards, principals, police agency administrators, and other community leaders to actively and fully support, both systemically and programmatically, as well as financially, this program and the local affiliate chapters providing it; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc herein voices its strong and fervent objections to the glamorizing of all forms of violence throughout the media, as we believe that the glorification of gang culture and its resultant violence significantly leads to improper stereotyping of our communities and further perpetuates racially-biased images of our youth.

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