HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — In response to recent violence in the city, Harrisburg mayor Wanda Williams and other city officials are forming a Parent Task Force.
This move comes after three children were shot and injured in a weekend shooting on October 29. The accused shooter, Mandjou Sylla, has since been taken into custody by Harrisburg Police.
At a press conference following the shooting, the mayor called for community support.
“These were children who were just on the street playing. What will you do in the community to help us?” she said.
City officials say the goal of the task force is to create a sense of community, address family issues, and prevent further violence in the city.
“So many of the issues we face in this city start within the walls of someone’s home. In some cases, families don’t even have that much,” said Mayor Williams. “We cannot parent from City Hall but we can be a helping hand and a listening ear, and that is what I want to come out of this task force.”
The group is intended to give parents a space to voice their concerns about their neighborhood, their block, and their homes with city and school district leaders.
The task force will consist of Mayor Williams, Councilman, and Public Safety Committee Chairman Ralph Rodriguez, Capt. Russell Winder, who oversees community policing within the Harrisburg Bureau of Police, and either Superintendent Eric Turman or Assistant Superintendent Dr. Marisol Craig of the Harrisburg School District.
Parents who are interested in joining the task force can do so online in advance: https://laserfiche.harrisburgpa.gov/Forms/Parent-TaskForce. Interested participants should provide their name, number, email, and home address.
The first task force meeting is being held tonight, Wednesday, November 29 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at City Council Chambers, located at 10 N. 2nd Street in Downtown Harrisburg. Future meetings will be held on the second Wednesday of every month, beginning on January 10.