FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Across the country, there has been a rise in juvenile crimes and Fort Wayne has followed the trend within the recent year.
Since last year, Fort Wayne has already almost doubled the juvenile shooting rates. Based on WANE 15’s reporting, five juveniles have been arrested in connection to a shooting compared to last year’s total of 3 juveniles arrested in connection.
WANE 15 talked with the Fort Wayne Police Department Gang and Violent Crimes Unit, and they acknowledged Fort Wayne’s rise but said it had more to do with the national trend than a local connection.
“Juveniles historically don’t have a really good balance of common sense. They don’t have a life experience. They don’t have a understanding of violence, so they only have a reactionary method,” said Marc Deshaies, a Detective with the Gang and Violent Crimes Unit. “So when we see juveniles involved in violent crime, we’re not seeing logical people thinking out this pattern, we’re seeing illogical young kids thinking out a quick reaction to an event.”
“The last couple of events that we’ve had in the city that have involved juveniles and violent crime have both been unrelated and have been just that quick, violent reaction to an unrelated event,” said Detective Deshaies.
Detective Sergeant Gary Henslar also connected the rise to not only the availability of guns due to deregulation but also desensitization to violence because of violent social media, TV and video games. A connection can also be made between juvenile crimes and a lack of family structure.
“Social media has created a window or an opportunity for firearms to be moved very easily and anonymously through multiple age brackets including the juvenile age bracket,” said Detective Deshaies.
Both Detective Sergeant Henslar and Detective Deshaies suggest addressing the issue of home life the most to try a curb the violence. They suggest creating events that fill the connections missing in their home life, through school programs or other local events.