Burke County Sheriff’s Office hopes to curb crime with teen seminar

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 6:30 PM EDT
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BURKE COUNTY. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s officially summer, and for many students, it’s a lot of time off.

That’s why the Burke County Sheriff’s Office is stepping in to give students something to do and help build a relationship with their community.

William Joyner is a 7th grader at Burke County Middle School who has big dreams once he turns 18.

“I want to be an architect, but I really want to go to the NFL,” he said.

He is one of 14 boys who attended Burke County’s teen seminar for kids who may struggle to stay on the positive path.

“I think I was here because my parents wanted to teach me what way to go, which path to choose,” said Joyner.

Sergeant Anthony Bennerman with the Burke County Sheriffs’ Office says they are offering different programs throughout the summer to curb crime.

“We’ve seen a lot of young men make decisions and choices they should not make, and generally in the summer, that’s when it increases,” he said.

The sheriff’s office started the youth seminars back in January with tours of the detention center and having guest speakers come mentor their classes. This was Burke County’s 4th seminar, and they will be having a seminar for girls in July.

“It’s definitely an eye-opening experience, and it’s something that they should see because a lot of kids don’t get that exposure,” said Bennerman.

Bennerman says it’s their mission to tackle crime, but also to help teens tackle peer pressure from becoming a statistic.

“We don’t want them to think we are just trying to arrest them. We want them to know that we are there for them. We are their friends,” he said.

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