Orange County leaders meet to discuss how to curb increased gang violence

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County leaders met Thursday to discuss how they can address an uptick in gun violence in the community.

In recent weeks, several gang-related shootings have left two young people dead, including a teen and a 3-year-old boy.

READ: Orange County community on edge after 2 children killed in gang-related shootings, deputies say

Sheriff John Mina said no arrests have been made in either of those cases, but officials said Orange County detectives are working around the clock to address the recent homicides and gang activity.

"We have to spend more time and dollars in prevention, intervention, enforcement and then prosecution,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said.

Eyewitness News explored what those are, and what they would look like in practice.

Prevention and intervention are both about getting help to people who have experienced trauma after trauma, or feel they have little to no opportunity.

READ: Volusia County offering help to those struggling to pay rent, mortgage during pandemic

At Thursday’s community meeting, residents and community leaders discussed strategies to reduce gun violence, particularly in Pine Hills.

“If we’re being honest, we all have one of the ACES of some sort, some sort of trauma, so we have to address that mental health illness with those youth, so we’re doing that, putting funds towards that,” Orange County Commissioner Reginal Hill said. “It’s about providing access and opportunity. I am currently a senior at Morehouse College. That wouldn’t have been possible for me without support, without an after school program and non-profit organization that sowed a seed into me.”

READ: Volusia County offering help to those struggling to pay rent, mortgage during pandemic

Karen Parks

Karen Parks,

Karen Parks is a reporter at WFTV.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.