CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - A new program is in the works to help at-risk youth in Calcasieu Parish.
A group of community leaders held a news conference Thursday to announce plans for the initiative to combat the alarming rate of teen violence.
It's called the Positive Change Initiative.
Calcasieu Parish District Attorney John DeRosier said he and other community leaders developed the program with the idea of putting an end to teen crime.
"We're going to change the culture in this community," DeRosier said. "We're going to break the cycle of young children being involved in crimes."
DeRosier and his office plan to collaborate with multiple agencies, including the police jury, school board, sheriff's office and city of Lake Charles for the Positive Change Initiative.
"We're all working together to address a problem that we know exists that has been touched upon by so many organizations but never really successfully dealt with."
Pastor Braylon Harris, director of the Impact Agency with the District Attorney's Office, plans on taking a different approach to help the youth.
"We are looking for young black males with influence that when they move, people move." Harris said.
Harris says he will meet with school principals and teachers to find these young men.
"We have used a very strong scientific method called the lunchroom method," Harris said. "We need the guy who if he picks up his plate, five to 10 guys move with him. That is the man who has influence. He may be using it negatively today, but we believe if he's involved with this program we can make that influence he already has into positive influence."
The orientation process for the initiative will begin February 23-24.
If you have any questions regarding the positive change initiative contact the District Attorney's Office.