Local agency aimed at keeping kids safe this summer


As a community works to process the shooting that injured one teen and left another dead, local agencies are now focused on keeping kids safe and occupied during the long summer ahead.

“It’s heartbreaking anytime kids get hurt or lose their life,” said Brian Hoyt, a spokesperson with Columbus Parks and Recreation. “It is devastating to all of us.”

Just days after 14-year-old Jaykwon Sharp and a 14-year-old girl were shot near a Columbus elementary school, some are already thinking about the long summer ahead.

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“What’s important to us is to provide a welcoming safe and fun environment for everybody," Hoyt said.

Hoyt says as summer break approaches, community centers around the city are ready and willing to welcome the youth of central Ohio

“We’re a great place to go to hang out with game rooms, maybe a pick-up basketball game," he said.

As investigators continue to piece together what happened in the moments before those shots were fired, Hoyt says the city summer camps and rec drop-in centers offer safe spaces for teens and offer a connection.

“It’s about the folks in our community and maybe it’s to be that one adult that a child can connect with that can reach out and make a difference,” Hoyt said.