Teens to host anti-violence conference

Organizers all know someone who has been lost

Law enforcement in St. Lucie County has been stepping up its efforts to combat crime this summer, with many arrests made through a joint task force. But the next generation is also doing its part to get young people involved in crime prevention.


Dakota Lawrence has felt it.


"It's the violence, it needs to stop because if it doesn't it will continue to grow," she says.


So has Devon Bradley.


"It really shocked me because they were very young," he says.


They're both talking about the loss of a friend or a loved one to gun violence.


Lawrence and Bradley are among a group of kids at the Fort Pierce Police Athletic League that are getting active.


"A lot of time we have a bad name with Fort Pierce because of all of the crime, so we just want it to stop," said Tykeria Dekle.


Inspired by a recent conference they attended put on by the Attorney General's Office, these teens are organizing a two-day youth conference next month entitled "Crime in Fort Pierce or nah", meaning no.


"You hear adult say something and you brush it off but then when you hear someone closer to your age say something you go hmmm," said Dakota Lawrence.


Fort Pierce Police Chief Sean Baldwin says he's encouraged by what these kids are trying to accomplish.


 "We're offering every bit of support that we can provide them, but yet we're staying out of the way and letting them plan it and they're doing a great job," said Chief Baldwin.


The conference is free. It will be August 14 and 15. The organizers are hoping at least 250 turn out.  


For more info, call the Ft. Pierce PAL at 772-466-0606. 

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