Davenport Police continue to see teenagers filling the back of their squad cars.
The morning of Thursday, April 26 was especially busy for officers.
They made eight arrests in two hours, with six of them underage.
Johnnie Lee Price said, “Act with expediency and with the quickness, we’re going to lose another generation.”
For Davenport resident Johnnie Lee Price, putting the brakes on juvenile crime starts in the home.
Price said, “It all comes to parenting.”
For Davenport Police, that’s where they said they need help.
Major Jeff Bladel said, “If there’s actions taken, or criminal laws broken, there’s going to be consequences and the families are the best to help explain that and curb any future behavior.”
Working to create that change also means a lot of others in the community because after a crime is committed, police officers’ continued involvement isn’t something that often grows.
Bladel said, “Very small portion of what actually goes on with an arrest or even what happens with the juvenile offender beyond that point.”
That has department officials working with where they go next, the Scott County Juvenile Detention Center… the juvenile justice system, social services and community partners like Family Resources to understand not just why this issue is happening but how to best help afterward.
Bladel said, “Get them back on stable feet, get them moving towards a positive direction and getting them to be a positive contribution to whatever it is they want to do.”
While sometimes police said it feels like they’re facing a revolving door of these teens continuing to commit crimes, it’s also important to show eventually it will catch up with them.
Bladel said, “Very young adults who may not fully understand that a consequence that happens today is going to be something that follows them later in life. That’s the understanding, that’s the message.”
Bladel also stressed they see many teens being productive in their community.
They also reach out to children and teens in the city to help build relationships.
They are hosting their 2018 Iowa Quad Cities Law Enforcement Camp June 11-15.