Updated 08/09/2012 11:23 PM
Community Searches For Solutions In Aftermath Of Bronx Teen's Death
Following the death of a Bronx teen, neighbors are trying to find solutions to prevent further tragedies. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
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Every day, Haffen Park is full of kids playing in the shadow of a recent tragedy.
On July 27, the father of Kemar Bryan Brooks found his son's body in the park. Kemar, an avid tennis player, was just 14 years old.
"That was somebody in my age group," said a young resident. "That means that I can turn around and boom, get shot anywhere, any day."
One boy said he would like to see more supervision, while others want more constructive programs for kids.
Jessie Collins said she runs youth programs and helped organize a meeting in the park to talk about ways to make it safer for kids. She thinks it's not necessarily about more security.
"I'm not calling for cameras," she said. "I'm not against cameras but I'm saying we need something to engage our children. We need to, we need to have something for them to do."
City Department of Youth and Community Development Chief of Staff Herb Barbot has interest in a bigger discussion that includes businesses and programs citywide. He specifically points to the city's summer jobs program.
"This year, we actually have one of our smallest summer jobs initiatives," he said. "It was barely 30,000. A couple of years ago, we had about 52,000. So we do need to raise that number up."
Police are still searching for the person responsible for Brooks' death. A $22,000 reward is being offered in the case.
Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.