City officials, police, clergy members, social service providers, community members and others will come together Thursday to discuss ways to curb juvenile crime in the city.
The goal, Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch says, is to create a conversation between youth and community members to overcome challenges facing the community, such as gun violence.
Klipsch said during a news conference May 21 that police are relentlessly pursuing the perpetrators of gun and juvenile crime, but it will take the entire community to solve the problem.
"The problem is two-fold," Klipsch said. "Many young people need an intervention connected to resources that they need. And, other habitually criminal-minded juvenile offenders need to be taken off the street. But law enforcement cannot do this alone. This is a community problem and we cannot arrest our way out of it. All of us need to do our part."
The mayor announced that a summit was in the works several days after the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Jovontia Antonio Jones of Davenport.
Jones’ death is one of five reported in Davenport in 2018.
No arrests have been made in his death as of Wednesday afternoon.
Over the last several years, law enforcement across the Quad-Cities has seen an uptick in vehicle thefts.
Davenport alone has had more than 200 vehicles stolen since Jan. 1. Police have said that many of the thefts are being committed by juveniles.
Thursday’s summit will feature two identical sessions at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. The registration period has ended for the event.
Sarah Ott, assistant to the city administrator, said in an email that both sessions are either at or are “very near” capacity as of noon Wednesday.
Klipsch said in a news release June 1 that for those who are unable to attend or were unable to register for Thursday’s summit, there will be other conversations in the coming days.
“This will not be the only opportunity to get involved or have your voice heard,” he said in the release. “The Youth community Action Summit is the first step in a longer process to tackle this problem.”
Klipsch further said in the release that the city will schedule a follow-up conversation in early July where “we will report out in a general session regarding what we’ve heard through these facilitated conversations and discuss action steps for moving forward.”