Lawmakers from across the commonwealth are discussing youth violence prevention.

A policy hearing took place in the City of Erie on Aug. 23.

Legislators are hearing from community leaders about the ways their organizations help young people in Erie.

This is all in effort to create policies to prevent violence.

Youth violence continues to be an issue in Erie and across the commonwealth.

Local leaders met for a policy hearing with lawmakers in Erie on Tuesday.

This meeting was for elected officials in Harrisburg so they could help curb juvenile crime.

“We need funding to come in and affect change within our communities. We need to go out door to door. We need to identify who the problem young people are, reach out to them, create programs that are going to teach them how to be responsible,” said Bishop Dwane Brock, CEO of Eagles Nest Leadership Corporation.

One city council member said that policy hearings like this are necessary to bring change in Erie. She said that local leaders should stay up to date on help that’s available to them.

“We get statistics every week from the police chief about the number of weapons charged and shots fired incidents, but we really have to be tuned in to what is happening at the state level with the funding and with the possible legislation that could help address those issues,” said Liz Allen, City Council President.

The chair of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Cacus said that the state budget includes more than 100 million dollars to address community violence.

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“I strongly encourage community organizations, faith based institutions, schools and law enforcement agencies here in Erie to apply for the funding,” said Donna Bullock, Chair of Pennsylvania Legislative Black Cacus.

Legislators learned about several local organizations including the Blue Coats that work with students from Erie’s public schools, keeping them off the streets.