Flaggs announces Youth Violence Prevention Committee after murder of 13-year-old

Published 3:32 pm Friday, February 3, 2023

Mayor George Flaggs, Jr. stated Friday his intent to appoint eight members to a Youth Violence Prevention Committee during Monday’s regular meeting of the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

The committee will be tasked with making recommendations on the safety and well-being of youth under the age of 18 years old within the City of Vicksburg. Its first meeting will be 4 p.m. Monday in the mayor’s office.

The committee will create a comprehensive strategy to combat juvenile violence by using a multi-prong approach of education, prevention, intervention, parental coaching, family counseling, and other relevant factors.

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The committee will also create a Youth Program comprised of juveniles recommended by the Warren County Youth Court and the Vicksburg Warren School District. It will also create a comprehensive plan that addresses the mental, psychological and behavioral safety and well-being of the city’s youth and maintain a database that monitors chronic absenteeism in order to decrease the dropout rate in Vicksburg.

‚ÄúThis is the first step in taking care of the future of Vicksburg,” Flaggs said. “We intend to focus on the mental, psychological, and behavioral safety and well-being of the children in the City of Vicksburg. This committee is dedicated to that common goal.

“I’m trying to stay proactive instead of reactive to a lot of this stuff,” Flaggs said. “I think what we’re going to propose is going to help with a lot in this community because the goal is to have a greater collaboration between these organizations that handle our youth and at the same time police them and hold parents accountable, too. This is something that’s never been done in this community.”

The decision to appoint the committee follows the Monday shooting death of 13-year-old Carleone Woodland. Demetrius Cormier, 16; Koury Lawrence, 19; and Phillip Moore Jr., 16; all of Vicksburg, have been charged with first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated assault in the shooting, which injured two other teens. All three are being held in the Warren County Jail in lieu of $3.5 million bond each.