When it comes to kids and violence, it seems many people are working on solutions but a local police department is going straight to the source.
If you think back to Black Friday in Cleveland when 12-year-old Abdel Bashiti was killed, it was a dark day in the city.
When you find out police believe another teenager pulled the trigger, it could make you question how it could happen in the first place.
In a press conference on Wednesday, city officials said they couldn’t identify a motive.
"We do know whatever the reason is, it should not have led to this level of violence,” Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said.
A few miles down the road in Parma Heights, police want to prevent a tragedy like that from happening altogether.
Officer Jack Darnell said he’s hoping a new youth group with the P.A.C.T (Police and Citizens Together) unit can help police go from the outside looking in, to actually being in.
"I hope that we are able to learn what these kids are struggling with,” Darnell said. "We're seeing such tragedies and we're seeing things that don't make sense to us as adults or us as police officers."
He’s starting the group with 12 to 17 year olds.
RJ White, 15, is one of the first members of the group and said the view of police from kids his age isn’t all positive.
"They make fun of cops, call them pigs, a lot of bad names which is not cool,” White said.
Knowing this, Darnell said they have to meet kids where they are so that lack of respect can be turned around.
"I feel if we sit down with them and talk to them maybe they can teach us something,” Darnell said.
Susan Paxson, a substitute teacher for Parma Schools, said it’s important for teenagers to feel comfortable before they start opening up.
"It's not an easy thing, but I think programs like this at least give kids positive things to do with their time,” Paxson said. "I think over time, they can build relationships with other kids and be modeled with good ways to interact."
"It isn't that there is an issue that we're trying to address,” Darnell said. “My goal is to open the bridge before there is an issue.”
The second meeting for the youth group will be on December 13 at 6 p.m. at the Cassidy Theatre.