TRENTON - A group of men has banded together in the state capital to mentor teens, and hope that the right support and guidance will prevent them from becoming another crime statistic.
This past weekend, four people died as a result of violent crime on the city streets. In response, city leaders have asked for more money to hire additional police officers.
Jason Rogers served eight years behind bars for dealing drugs in Trenton, and knows the challenges teens face. "They just need somebody to guide them and teach them," he says.
Rogers and a group of two dozen men have banded together to form Fathers and Men United for a Better Trenton. They make sure young men have things like a clean suit to wear for a job interview, and organize community events.
Bishop Joseph Ravenell, of Samaritan Baptist Church, says saving Trenton must begin with groups like the Fathers. The group is willing to call out those who don't get on board.
"To the people that's staying in their house, you're only making it worse. Because you're allowing it to happen," Ravenell says. "You're incarcerating yourself while the rest of your city is going down, your property values are going down."
The Fathers hope their brand of parental advice will get to the city's youth before the gangs do.
Murders in Trenton hit a single-year record back in 2005, when 31 people were killed.