The chief of the Orlando Police Department said crime overall is down, but violent crime has seen a recent uptick, especially among the youth. The question is why?
Various law enforcement agencies responded to more than a dozen shootings over the weekend, including a drive-by shooting that injured two teenage girls, aged 13 and 14. Both are expected to survive their injuries.
"What concerns me is the age group of the individuals involved and there is a likely potential that retaliation was the cause of the shooting," said Chief Orlando Rolon in an interview with FOX 35.
His department is paying close attention to the current trends and are implementing proactive efforts, he said. Since March 1, 2022, he said one of his units has found – and removed – 34 illegal guns from the street.
"Overall crime is down but violent crime seems to be at an uptick. What is causing that? What is driving some of our youth especially, to result to using firearms to address their differences?" he said.
He encouraged parents to talk to their kids about who they are spending time with "and explain to them that you know who you chose to walk with, who you choose to associate with, although you may not be involved in that same activity, if it's a negative activity, it can also have consequences," he said.
He encouraged people to join community programs aimed at keeping kids away from violent crime and said community engagement is the keep to moving current trends in a positive direction.