Community Searches for Solutions to Crime

July 18, 2013 Updated Jul 18, 2013 at 3:39 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

July 18, 2013 Updated Jul 18, 2013 at 3:39 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY
A non-violence summit in Buffalo Wednesday drew hundreds of concerned residents but there was one party noticeably absent from the event inside the Frank E. Meriwether library on Jefferson Avenue where the community desperately searched for solutions to the city's dangerous streets.

Those streets that have claimed the lives of five people in just the past few weeks from gun violence. The majority of those gunned down were young adults.

Erie County Legislators Betty Jean Grant and Tim Hogues hosted the summit and invited Mayor Byron Brown and Buffalo Police officials but none showed up.

Something that wasn't lost on the crowd which included Democratic mayoral candidate Bernie Tolbert and Republican mayoral candidate Sergio Rodriguez.

But other police chiefs from the suburbs including Kenmore and Cheektowaga stepped up offering their ideas on what could help prevent violent crimes.

"Mentoring is going to be a big thing," said Kenmore Police Chief Peter Breitnauer.

One of the biggest ideas from the forum was to create more safe spaces for children and teenagers by using churches and schools as community centers and extending the hours of established community centers.

But that initiative would take a massive amount of volunteers and would require adults to step up.