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Chief working to reach troubled youth

Brookhaven’s crime problem is no secret. Like most places — or all places — there is more crime here than anyone would like.

Figuring out how to reduce that crime is no easy task, but one that Police Chief Kenneth Collins is taking personally. Collins is working with troubled youth, hoping to get through to them before they go from troubled to convicted.

Collins and his officers, along with Rev. Phillip Sterling, have met with students in Brookhaven to hopefully put them back on the right track.

“They’re having problems with the young kids, getting in trouble and stuff,” he said. “We’re starting to go around to each school and the kids we’re having problems with, before they get locked up, we’re trying to make an interdiction with those kids and I think we got two of them’s attention today. That’s what we’re going to start doing. That’s something that I can do to try to make a difference.”

Collins speaks from personal experience. He understands the challenges these students face — and also the harsh reality that awaits them if a change isn’t made.

He said many of the students are struggling with situations at their homes that could be the root of the anger that causes them to lash out at school.

“You want to reach the ones they are having the problems with, the ones that are getting in trouble cussing their teachers out, talking back to their parents. We try to reach them before they get in big trouble,” he said.

We applaud Collins and his officers for working to reach troubled students before they get into further trouble. His efforts won’t solve the city’s crime problems overnight, but they are part of a solution that will make a difference.

“You just never know. What you say might can change somebody’s life,” Collins said.

He’s right, and we’re hopeful that he changes the lives of those he encounters.