Friday, June 12, 2015
We Have a Gang Problem Because We Have a Parenting Problem,….
"We don't have a gang problem, we have a parenting problem - specifically, it hasn't been happening," explained Chief Tyler. "This small group of kids don't have parents who are involved in their lives, who don't care, and they're letting the police come in and be the parents, or they're letting juvenile probation be the parents."
This is a quote from Florence Police Chief Ron Tyler about the attack on the 14 year old boy that happened after First Friday had ended. Incidentally, and take this as a grain of salt and not truth because I cannot verify it, but I did read where the mother of the boy was told this was a gang initiation. I have looked for that comment and cannot find it from last Saturday. With that said, I cannot prove what I read. I did find it a bit odd the mother never mentioned this in an interview.
However, I do not totally agree with the chief. Yes there is a parenting problem. Yes too many times the kids get left to grow up on their own. They have no guidance in their lives, no discipline. No rules to go by. Their mentors are often not good ones. Thugs if you will. So that is all they know. So from that standpoint I agree with Chief Tyler. But to say we don’t have a gang problem,… will not make it go away. Maybe what he should have said is we have a gang problem because we have a parenting problem. The police will step up their appearance at the First Friday events in the future with both plain clothed and incognito officers I/m sure. So that is a good thing. I feel confident that First Fridays is a safe place to be and that this was an isolated incident. Next time you see an officer and can tell them thank you, do so.