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Detroit Recognized As Pioneer In Youth Violence Prevention

DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee met Tuesday with law enforcement officials from across the country for the National Summit on Preventing Youth Violence in Washington D.C.

Attorney General Eric Holder is recognizing Detroit and five other cities for their progress in preventing youth violence.

This conference, and praise for Detroit, comes less than a month since headlines blared that five kids had been shot in the city in a matter of weeks.

"[It's] really a national conversation," said Godbee. "This is not just germane to Detroit, but it's something that is going on across the nation. And Washington D.C. has taken note of the work that we've done on the ground, as well as other cities, and sharing some best practices."

Godbee said the aim is to find long-term solutions to reducing teen and  gang violence. The chief said, above all, parents need to step up.

"Mentorship, adult involvement, parental involvement ... responsible parental involvement, has a huge determining factor in the outcomes for young people," Godbee said.

Chief Godbee said the group hopes to develop new strategies to address youth violence through comprehensive planning.

"Attorney General Eric Holder has spoke very eloquently about the challenges that we face, but how we start to bring those resources to bear to tackle them in a very holistic way," said Godbee. "We will see some very strategic measures that will go towards long-term reductions in youth violence that go beyond just suppression and arrest."

The other cities recognized at the conference were Boston, Chicago, Memphis, San Jose and Salinas, California.

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