Mecklenburg County commissioners approve millions for juvenile crime prevention

CHARLOTTE — The year started with a mass shooting and juveniles causing chaos in Romare Bearden Park and last week ended with two young men on the run after escaping an inmate transport van and carjacking a woman. Juvenile crime has everyone’s attention, including the Mecklenburg County Commission.

The headlines are as heartbreaking as they are scary. A mass shooting on New Year’s Eve. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department says 11 kids were arrested in connection with the chaotic evening. Just nights later. CMPD says a 16-year-old beat a group home worker to death. Last week, police say two teens on their way back from court broke out of the transport van, carjacked a woman and documented everything on social media before being caught in Charlotte.

CMPD says so far this year, juvenile suspects are responsible for 21 shootings and more than 220 of 280 auto theft arrests.

Nicole Beverly sees the headlines and is just as concerned as everyone else.

“I wish they were part of our funding programs,” said Nicole Beverly, chair of the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council.

On Tuesday night, Mecklenburg County commissioners approved the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council’s $2 million funding allocation request. Click here to see where the money is going.

The $2 million in funding is from the state’s Department of Public Safety. Commissioner Mark Jerrell says he wants to see results.

“I really don’t have any idea of the impact of what these organizations are doing, how we measure that and how it translates into the community,” Commissioner Jerrell said.

Beverly says she is confident progress can be made.

“Our goal is to really make sure the youth are succeeding in Mecklenburg County,” she said.

Some of the ways groups are using the crime prevention money are for mentoring, vocational programs, and substance abuse coaching.