MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The past year we’ve seen several teens killed or charged with murder in Mobile.
Public Safety Director Lawrence Battiste says there’s been an increase in violence in general, not specifically related to teen violence. But, he says more needs to be done to prevent teen violence.
“It can happen to anyone. Keep your children close, stay on them. Make sure you know what they are doing,” said Harold Jordan.
Harold Jordan got a call last month that no parent wants to hear. His son, 17-year-old Harold Jordan III had been shot and killed at the Bayou Bend Apartments on Brill Road.
“There’s nothing you can do to ever prepare for something like this. It’s always going to be unexpected,” said Jordan.
Jordan admits he recently found out his son made some bad decisions before he was killed. “I wasn’t paying attention to it, now that this has happened to my son, it brought a wave of emotions and reality like woah I wasn’t paying attention,” said Jordan.
He now wants to try and help other children from making bad choices. He’s starting Harold’s Initiative, to teach kids life skills as well as teach them about conflict resolution.
“What we’re seeing is a spike in violence with individuals who are 17-25. Those that should be more mature,” Battiste said.
Two weeks after Jordan’s son was killed, 15-year-old Jamarion Lee was also shot and killed. Mobile police arrested 16-year-old Jerome Garmon and charged him with murder.
“Our goal is to just continue to be proactive and try and figure out ways to maybe eliminate some of the teens or some of the younger people from having access to the weapons that they’re using to commit some of these offenses,” Battiste said.
Battiste says changes need to start at home, and he asks parents and the community for their help.
“We’ve got to do a better job at being preemptive rather than reactive to what we’re seeing happening in our community. It’s going to take everyone living in this community that we live in,” said Battiste.
Jordan agrees, saying parents need to pay closer attention to what their children are doing.
“If you see kids around here carrying guns and flashing guns and stuff, get their tails off the street, somebody need to pull them over, stop, talk to them or something. Do whatever you’ve got to do to get that gun away from that kid,” Jordan said.
Jordan says he has pastors already involved in Harold’s initiative and is hoping to get the city involved. Publice Safety Director Battiste says he is open and willing to have a conversation with Jordan about his ideas.