"Not My Son" campaign trying to connect with teens

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Police officers and community leaders are trying to create deeper connections with adults and children in what are considered crime-ridden neighborhoods in St. Petersburg.

The "Not My Son" campaign is in its third year, looking to change the course of the lives of kids who without the proper support and guidance - may not make the right decisions.

"We are bringing people from the community to go into places to help parents and children understand that they’re not alone,” said Rev. Kenny Irby, who works with the police department and its outreach programs.

Every Friday night this summer, dozens of officers, city and religious leaders will be visiting different neighborhoods. According to the police department, teens are more likely to get tangled up in trouble during this time of year.

“They don’t want violence in their community, so just being able to talk to someone, that one-on-one conversation to say, okay, what can we do to work together," said St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway.

According to city officials, the crime rate has decreased over the past few years, but there's no telling whether it's because of this specific program.

Nevertheless, they are pleased with the public's response and hope their efforts leave a lasting impact.
“To really manifest the idea of one St. Pete," said Irby, "a unified St. Pete.”