Trenton leaders seek to curb violence

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City leaders in Trenton are determined to make a change as children become the victims of recent shootings. (WPVI)

City leaders in Trenton are determined to make a change as children become the victims of recent shootings.

A vigil was held earlier this week after the murder of a 15-year-old boy.

Maurice Wimbush-Jalaah was shot and killed in broad daylight at a city housing complex last Saturday.

"It's a long summer and I can tell you as long as I'm standing here talking to you now, this will not be the last young person to die in our city or be shot this year," said one person there.

City officials are strategizing now on how to avoid that and address the growing gun violence in Trenton.

"We are going to increase foot patrol, we're going to bring in additional outside agencies of law-enforcement, we'll probably start at the right time the curfew," said Mayor Eric Jackson.

There are curfew laws on the books now, but they are rarely enforced. Residents say a real curfew and more police in the streets might do something to control the guns, violence and the fear.

"It's just dangerous around here for a woman like me to be walking around the corner," Leilani Reed.

"Especially being a mother it's very worrisome cause you never know what may happen if your child comes out to play," said Alethea Perkins-Ruiz.

"It's sad. Kids getting shot around here. Why? For what? Everybody's shooting stuff for what? What's the purpose of that, I don't understand that," said Barron Mayfield.

Police director Ernie Parrey says part of the answer is the public sharing information about crime with police and parents knowing where their children are and what they're doing.

"If folks don't want an occupying police force they have to be involved in the process, and being involved means you have to let people know what their children are doing and you have to know where your children are," Parrey said.

The curfew will go into effect on July 1st. Anyone under 18 found out after midnight will be picked up by police, brought to a local church and offered counseling. Their parents will then be called to pick them up.

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