In the wake of several recent shootings in the City of Reading, Mayor Eddie Morán released a statement Monday addressing the subject.
“This has been a trying week in the city due to the violence experienced nationwide. Our police department is still investigating the three incidents that occurred in the past week. So far, it appears that all of the incidents involve victims that the offenders targeted. But all violence, whether targeted or random, is unacceptable. No matter what the initial dispute, whether domestic related, drugs, gangs, or perceived disrespect, violence is no way to handle such situations and doesn’t solve anything.
A few months ago, I issued a call for action after a shooting at one of our playgrounds. As a result, my office and various organizations increased their involvement in youth violence prevention activities. Our mission is to provide our citizens, especially our youth, with the outlets and tools to select a safe and healthy lifestyle. Making good decisions and resisting being pulled into circumstances that could spur violence are paramount. To this end, organizations have promoted education, peer counseling, mentoring, and meaningful dialogue to reach out to our young men and women.
Through various partnerships, we increased activities such as providing summer jobs, outdoor movie nights, open gyms and parks through the night, free pool nights, and basketball tournaments, among others. In addition to National Night Out, First Friday, Peace & Gloves (boxing on Penn Street), community-favorite Wacky Water Wednesday, and so much more.
Investing in our youth is the best path forward. We will continue to prioritize such efforts with the fervent hope and belief that today’s youths will see a brighter and safer future than we experienced this past week. Nevertheless, we cannot let anything deter us from continuing our present course and searching for new initiatives. We must all be in this together.”