Christopher Garris wants to help youth in the CSRA get on the right track. That's why he wants to start a 12-week program named Youth Against Violence. (WRDW-TV / Feb. 1, 2012)
News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012
AIKEN, S.C. -- One local Aiken man is taking matters into his own hands by creating a Youth Against Violence program.
He says he just needs a few more people who are fed up to help out.
"We need to say enough is enough. We won't stand for this anymore," said Christopher Garris, who lives in Aiken."When we see the young kids standing on the corner, we are going to call law enforcement, we're going to start identifying people."
Garris owns AA American Bail Bonds in Aiken.
"It's becoming a very hard business," Garris said. "This is not the same old Aiken when everybody was friendly and had respect for law enforcement."
And three fatal officer shootings in the past four months at the hands of young African-American males has Garris calling for community outreach.
"And we should be willing to put some money behind our youth," Garris said. "By the time a child is 13 or 14 years old, their mind has already been so desensitized by the music and the videos."
Garris is a former gang member.
"I am a living example that you can change," he said.
Garris has put together a 12-week Youth Against Violence class to help youth in the area.
"We are going to clean up our neighborhoods because we're the ones that have to live here 24 hours a day," Garris said.
Garrison says he plans to approach local community leaders in hopes of getting endorsements for the plan.