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Crime and summer don't have to go together. This is one of the things we can do now

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Violent crimes have increased at unprecedented levels in cities across the country for two years. Every weekend we see more bloodshed — and this last July 4th holiday weekend is no exception.

According to many seeers, the recent surge inviolent crimeshas devastated cities of all sizes as well and will only worsen during the summer. Many people ignore this deadly wave and others prepare for its aftermath, but we want to get it on track and stop. Our Violence Free Zone (VFZ) Initiative is a unique youth violence reduction / mentoring program and key to areas with high levels of crime and violence. 

Over the years, VFZ has a proven track record of improving attendance and academic performance, as well as reducing school violence and youth involvement in drugs and gangsters. It has played a role as a national model. 

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Only a year after Bob Woodson and I started the violence-free zone in 2005, the worst school in Milwalky-famous for high rustication and violence. -Is the safest. 

Take crime prevention seriously. Take these young men and women, and their struggles, seriously. Don't write them down as the cause of the loss ...

In fact, in the first two years of implementation, theMilwaukee Public School Systemreduced 23%. Experienced violent incidents. According to the Milwaukee Police Department (2010), the number of car thefts decreased by 25% between 2006 and 2008 in areas where VFZ was implemented at local schools.

Why this program is so effective. 

We employ youth advisors (moral mentors and character coaches) with the same zip code as the students they serve. As a result, mentors have important internal "street" knowledge and can easily identify troublemakers. Youth can also gain the trust and respect of young people by being able to see themselves and the internal and external challenges they face in their mentors in ways not seen by teachers and counselors.   

A woman in New York City pushes her baby in a shot dead stroller on the Upper East Side

Mentor-Once a problem, it's now part of the solution. Taking on the roles of surrogate father and mother, teaching valuable lessons and serving as a real example of the consequences of both a predatory and productive lifestyle. Through their own transformation, our mentors encourage students who were once leaders of self-destruction to become ambassadors of peace for schools, neighborhoods and families. 

Growing up, my own role model was a gangbanger and a drug dealer. I'm well aware that many children can easily fall through gaps if the house doesn't look positive. 

Andre Robinson is the Director of Violence Free Zone for Milwaukee Christian Center.

Andre Robinson is a violence-free director Milwaukee Christian Center Zone. (Milwalky Christian Center)

I may not know exactly what the students are experiencing, but they do it. I decided to create an environment where I could see. My situation was similar to theirs and I was able to share with them what I did to get out of it. 

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In addition to these personal experiences, our mentors are always a support system and we trust that they are available 24/7. 

In 2007, there was a case load of 40 students. I still talk to them all today (though two of them unfortunately lost their lives since then). I am the godfather of 6 children. If a student calls at 4am, I will answer the call. If I can't go to help them, I'll send someone they can trust. 

This is meaningfulis necessary to reduce violence among young peoplePunishment can only be exerted by external pressure. To tackle the problem from the inside, young people need a reason for peace that comes from adults they trust and respect. If those adults aren't found at home, the community needs to step up and fill those gaps. 

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Moral authority and true with vulnerable youth Empowering community leaders to establish relationships is both time-consuming and resource-intensive. There are no shortcuts to this kind of work. But the result is far more than reducing violence, revitalizing the entire neighborhood. 

For example, in my own school district, I found that a local family was having a hard time filingtaxes correctly. Therefore, we were trained by the IRS as tax filers and prepared and submitted taxes for their families. Over the years, we have brought nearly $ 3.3 million in profits to those households. 

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So I've lived my life Please take the place of all students. There is a positive change: Take security seriously. Take these young men and women, and their struggles, seriously. Do not write them down as the cause of the loss. Help them find out why they are peaceful by giving resources to leaders who trust them to serve them.

We already know how to make our community safer. We've done that before, but with support we can make an even bigger impact and ultimately support the prosperity of all regions. 

Robert "Bob" Woodson is the founder and president of the Woodson Center, "Red, White, Black: Saving American History from Revisionists and Race Hasslers." I'm an editor.

Andre Robinson is the director of the Violence Free Zone at the Milwaukee Christian Center.