Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Gunshots rang out on Shonnard Street over the weekend, leaving one man wounded. The incident happened while 120 teenagers were spending time at the nearby Boys & Girls Club. Now the organization says it’s changing some rules.
The organization wants more executive members to begin reviewing their rental requests so any concerns are more likely to be addressed in advance. Also, if necessary, they want added security at private parties.
Syracuse resident Lance Williams says parents need to start doing their job too.
"The parents got to put their part in too. They've got to be here to do their job. That's what is going to make it better. When you see somebody out around here shooting guns and all that, you can't close your eyes to it if you're a parent, you've got to stand up and do what is necessary,” Williams said.
Days later, a shooting just across the street, still weighs heavily on parents and staffers. For a club that strives to create a positive place for kids, they'd hoped a private party would attract new members in an area that struggles with violence.
"Every club has its challenges. We try to meet those challenges, but Shonnard Street is a tough area,” Boys & Girls Club Chairman, David Hazelton said. "We want to make sure that the parents know that when the kids are coming here, that they are going to return home safely."
Until now, unit managers with each club were able to sign off on any contracts for private parties. From now on, the executive board will review those decisions and they'll make sure police know about any private parties at the club.
Williams says he's not convinced more police can take the place of absent parents. But, he does think the violence underscores the need for a safe haven in the neighborhood and he hopes the Boys & Girls Club stays committed.
“If you say you’re here to make sure that the kids have a chance in life, this is part of the challenge; this is part of what goes on,” Williams told NewsChannel 9.