Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Community leaders want St. Petersburg's youths occupied over the summer

ST. PETERSBURG — Teens are the focus of a new partnership of educators, police officers, ministers, residents and young people announced Thursday on the steps of City Hall.

The Southern Christian Leadership Conference's new crime prevention task force has three goals: make sure youths have summer jobs; make sure they have summer programs; and crack the "no snitching" code that keeps young people from cooperating with police.

SCLC president Sevell C. Brown III said he's heard from many teens worried about the distressed economy once school ends.

A lack of summer jobs and programs means bored teens, Brown said, and that can only lead to trouble.

"The one thing they're saying is 'Mr. Brown, will we have jobs for the summer? Will we have programs that we can go to this summer?' " he said. "And the parents likewise want to know, 'Will the programs be cut back and gutted by the bottoming out of the economy?' "

Pinellas County school superintendent Julie Janssen and St. Petersburg police Chief Chuck Harmon were among those at Thursday's announcement.

Brown said the task force will likely meet May 9 to discuss how schools, the police, neighborhood associations and churches can help teens this summer.

This is just the latest burst of community activism in the wake of last month's murder of 8-year-old Paris Whitehead-Hamilton. Two 18-year-olds and one 19-year-old were arrested in connection with her death.

Police are still looking for the public's help in the case. That's why on Sunday, May 17, said Brown, preachers across the city will condemn the code of "no snitching" from their pulpits.

And the task force hopes to get teens to start helping police by dialing these two numbers: the anonymous tip line at (727) 892-5000 and the anonymous text tip line at (727) 420-8911.

"We need to get away from this notion that snitching is bad, that it's not cool to tell on someone," said retired Pinellas school administrator Lewis Williams. "Hopefully, our young people are beginning to see this because of what happened to Paris."

Jamal Thalji can be reached at or (727) 893-8472.

Community leaders want St. Petersburg's youths occupied over the summer 04/30/09 [Last modified: Friday, May 1, 2009 12:26am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  2. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)


    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  3. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  4. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  5. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.