UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - According to the Utica Police Department, Utica has seen six homicides this year, three of which were by gunfire.
The city has also seen multiple crimes involving "shots fired."
Prompting Jerome Mckinsey, fifth ward Utica Councilman, to hold a Shots Fired public forum, Thursday night.
The forum brought out local community members, religious figures and people of all ages. They watched and listened to various testimonials. One theme that seemed to trend throughout the evening was about who is committing the crimes and where it is happening.
Mckinsey believes those who are the perpetrators need the most help, " Economics is important. An idle mind is the devils workshop. We have to find a way to employ citizens of Utica, we have to find a way to train the demographic behind shots fired and in many cases it's the youth in the black community. We have to find programs to train our youth and be willing to invest in them and put them to work."
The goal of tonight was to reach the audience in such a way, they would begin talking to their family members or friends who may be involved in firing the shots.