UPDATE: LCSO launches Council on Status of Men, Boys

New leadership for Tallahassee teen program
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 4:40 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2022 at 5:56 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Leon County Sheriff’s Office has selected the new point person for their newly created council tasked with addressing the factors behind gun violence and shootings in Leon County.

The new Council on the Status of Men and Boys is in response to the sheriff’s office’s ‘Anatomy of a Homicide’ report which detailed the underlying factors of gun violence in Leon County from 2015 through 2020.

“We sought to figure out what’s going on with these shootings and thought about how to bring an end to all these shootings and deaths,” Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil said.

McNeil said their work showed the majority of those involved in gun violence were “people who were being expelled from school and persons who were placed in alternative schools.”

McNeil said the council will work to address that demographic and bring together social services and organizations involved with youth in Leon County.

“The issues of poverty, the issues of hope, the issues of trauma,” McNeil said. “Issues that disproportionately impact African American men, and men generally in our community.”

Royle King, the executive director of the council, said the change they’re trying to make is not going to happen overnight.

“We’re going to assemble a strong team of leaders who are ready to elevate what we’re seeing in our communities for our black boys and men,” King said.

King said his team is trying to reduce crime, gun violence, school suspensions, the recidivism rate and get more black males through high school and higher education and the workforce over a life on the streets.

“One of the biggest things I see is the youth that we’re going to be working with a lot of them don’t have that support,” King said. “Through this process we plan to provide them that support, one of the biggest things is being consistent.”

King said the research done through the LCSO helped identify where those already incarcerated went astray and they adjusted their training to share those experiences with youths in the community to “catch them before it’s too late.”

“We want to catch as many as we can before they can go down that path that leads to gun violence and death,” King said.

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