Youth holding summit to address Fort Pierce crime

FORT PIERCE — Youth ages 13 to 18 are urged to attend the city’s youth violence prevention conference Thursday and Friday in Fort Pierce.

So far about 100 people have signed up for the event planned by teenagers, in cooperation with the Police Athletic League, to address “crime and violence plaguing their (youths’) neighborhoods and give them the confidence to be part of the solution,” according to a news release.

The free conference includes motivational speaker Milton Creagh, of Chicago; two assistant U.S. attorneys; panel discussions by former St. Lucie County jail inmates; role playing; and a time for youths to speak up about what they see going on in their community.

One session includes speakers from Fort Pierce who have been in jail and have since changed their lives. One is Danny Collins, who graduated from Westwood High School with a 4.2 grade-point-average and went on to play for the Atlanta Braves for two seasons. But a high-speed accident in 2009 led to his being sent to prison for cocaine possession, fleeing a law enforcement officer, burglary and third-degree grand theft. Now he is a minister who does volunteer work at the St. Lucie County Jail.

The summit, at the Police Athletic League on South 21st Street, ends with a free dance Friday night.

CRIME IN FORT PIERCE CONFERENCE

For: Youths ages 13 to 18

When: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday

Where: Police Athletic League, 903 S. 21st St., Fort Pierce

Sponsor: Police Athletic League

Cost: Free including transportation

To sign up: Go to fortpiercepal.com website or send an email to awells@fppd.org

Source: Fort Pierce Athletic League

TRANSPORTATION

To encourage youth to attend, the city is providing transportation from three locations on both days. The pickup and drop-off sites are:

•Willie B. Ellis Substation, 1220 Avenue D. Hours: 8 a.m. pickup and 5:45 p.m. drop-off on Thursday and 8 a.m. pickup and 2:12 p.m. drop-off on Friday.

•Percy Peak Gymnasium, 2902 Avenue D. Hours: 8:15 a.m. pickup and 6 p.m. drop-off on Thursday and 8:15 a.m. pickup and 2:30 p.m. drop-off on Friday.

•Police Substation, 2304 Avenue I. Hours: 8 a.m. pickup and 5:45 p.m. drop-off on Thursday and 8 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. on Friday.

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