Davenport church leaders call community summit to stop juvenile crime a “great idea”

DAVENPORT- A local minister says a proposed community summit on teen violence and crime is a great idea and long overdue.

"It brings a lot of voices together, a lot of ideas together, and it shows that people are on the same page," said Pastor Rob White, with First Baptist Church in Davenport.

On Monday, the mayor and police chief of Davenport announced an upcoming summit to address the crime wave of stolen cars and shootings in the area, noting they can't arrest their way out of this problem.

White says his church belongs to a seven church consortium in the high crime area, called "PUNCH", and says volunteers have been trying to make a difference in the area, with youth programs, a community garden, and other projects.

"There's no easy answer. Some people want to make it about guns. Some people want to make it about a lack of parental control, some make it a policing issue. Ultimately, what we understand is, it has to be a faith issue," he said.

Volunteer Brenda Hanes helps with the PUNCH programs, this week planting in the community garden outside First Baptist.

"The kids need something and I don't know the answer, but I'm will to work to help get whatever they need in place," said Hanes, who retired from the Rock Island Arsenal.

"It does take a village. It's not one group's responsibility, its a collaboration," she said.

City officials say they will announce more about the time and place for the first summit likely next month.