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One Lexington team plans further over-night peace-keeping efforts in 2024

One Lexington Director Devine Carama addressing the Lexington City Council 11-28-23
Stu Johnson
One Lexington Director Devine Carama addressing the Lexington City Council 11-28-23

The City of Lexington’s on-the-street person-to-person effort to reduce youth violence is taking on a new initiative. It focuses on a peace-keeping mission during early morning hours.

One Lexington under the direction of Devine Carama began its mission to engage youth in the summer of 2021. Carama told Urban County Council members untreated trauma remains a key issue. He says a late-summer one-night peace-keeping presence downtown revealed young people causing problems.

“From midnight to three o clock as young as 12 to 13 riding scooters, brandishing firearms, engaging conflict, stoking conflict, hanging out around bars that serve alcohol,” said Carama

Carama said the culture and times are different today, but different doesn’t always equate to good. As he puts it, right is right and wrong is still wrong.

The One Lexington director noted there are plans to continue the early-hours youth engagement program at selected times next summer.

Carama added it’s in support of Lexington police and not to interfere with their job of enforcement.

Devine Carama said there’s not one primary reason when it comes to firearm-related violence. He said causes of an exchange of gunfire include romance, anger, drugs, slights on social media, or a spat that starts on the football field.

“It could be a multitude of things. But, I think it’s irresponsible when we just pigeon-hole it and say oh it’s just over girls or just drugs. It’s a lot of different things but ultimately how to resolve that conflict is what it comes down to and where’s that trauma coming from,” said Carama.

Several Council members thanked Carama for he and his team’s intervention and productive dialogue with youth in Lexington. As Council Member Denise Gray put it, quote, “it’s a mighty work for people who feel lost, unseen, and unheard…adding “that’s where it begins.”

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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