Initiative aims to break "Code of Silence"

Posted at 7:45 AM, Sep 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-22 07:45:35-04

An initiative to counter the so-called "no snitch" culture of some youth in Tampa is meeting Tuesday morning to discuss their progress.

Safe & Sound Hillsborough (formerly the Violence Prevention Collaborative) is scheduled to discuss the results of a survey of Hillsborough County youth and plans for a more wide-ranging survey in the coming school year.

They also will share the results of a brief survey conducted during a mock trial last month in which teens presented a court case related to gun violence. The mock trial - the first of several planned around the county - provided an opportunity for teens to explore the potentially life-altering impact of their decisions.

Sand & Sound Hillsborough says they'll be sharing "compelling efforts to reach out to local teens to measure and understand risk factors in their lives."

The meeting is on Tuesday, September 22, at 10:30 a.m. at the Grant Park Community Center at 3724 N 54th Street in Tampa.

Safe & Sound Hillsborough was launched by the Board of County Commissioners after the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., shocked the nation. It includes representatives from government, schools, law enforcement, the judicial system, and several area agencies and organizations that deal with the effects of violence every day.

The group's goal is to develop data-driven, evidence-based strategies that deal with violence as a public health crisis.

"The problem of violence can't be solved by law enforcement alone," said County Commissioner Kevin Beckner, chair of Safe & Sound Hillsborough. "We have laid a strong foundation by bringing all parts of our community together to pursue data-driven, evidence-based strategies that address violence as a public health issue."