BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) -- It was the first of what's to become an annual anti-violence summit in Bridgeport.
The Connecticut Against Violence Bridgeport summit included speakers and workshops.
City and state leaders, along with community members and the city's youth all came together to talk about how they could curb crime and make the city safer.
Hundreds flooded into the church with one goal, coming up with solutions to reduce violence in the community.
"This, today, is for the citizens to coordinate their own strategy and work with police on the strategies that they come up with," said Mayor Bill Finch.
While city and state leaders addressed the crowd, they were quick to emphasize that Friday was about the parents and their role in keeping their kids safe.
"As much as we need community involved and the federal government, it also is personal responsibility," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal. "Families taking responsibility for their own children and schools, doing more with the help of the federal government."
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bridgeport residents heard from police, attorneys and leaders from anti-violence organizations about how they can curb violence. There were hip-hop performances and workshops in areas including parenting and social networking, all to help arm parents with the tools they need to keep their kids safe.
"I feel like we need to take responsibility on what a kid is listening to and seeing on TV," said Kingsley Osei, Executive Director of CT Against Violence, "so it's not about blame, but taking responsibility and not making excuses."
With school starting back up in four days, there's no more time for excuses.
"The goal of safety is to make sure there are no incidents on the first day of school or the second or the 150th," said Mayor Finch. "We want to keep our kids safe, they can't learn well if they're scared."
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