CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte Mecklenburg Police (CMPD) took advantage of spring break and held a Bridging the Difference conversation Thursday afternoon to talk with and listen to young people.
Chief Kerr Putney spent about 20 minutes fielding questions from the group at Imaginon - in a conversation about building a positive future.
"You need to make better decisions because there is a consequence to every decision, said Chief Putney. "I tell everybody. As a young person who gets into a dispute - you have a confrontation use your mouth to get out of it – don't grab a gun."
According to CMPD, 3,481 juveniles (ages 6 to 17) were arrested in 2013.
Police say that number dropped 31 percent in 2018 when 2,396 juveniles were arrested.
Cmpd says 456 kids successfully completed the department's diversion program.
“If there's any advice I want to give – particularly in this day and age that we're in - is be a critical thinker. Be a thinking individual. Do not just take what people give you,” said keynote speaker James Ford.
The talk was about getting youths ready for a better tomorrow.
The goal is get more young people to look to a positive future - to see themselves in college and beyond.
Ford, who was a former North Carolina Teacher of the Year and founder of the Be More Foundation, told the young people “Even at the age you’re at – your voice, your opinion, your perspective is important.”