RICHMOND (KCBS) – Richmond police said youth violence in the city has become such a problem that they are creating a program aimed specifically at younger people in the hopes of stopping violent crimes.

The program is similar to one for violent adults, Operation Ceasefire. But Richmond police Detective Nicole Abetkov said Ceasefire Youth Lifelines for Healing focuses its efforts on teenagers who are involved in gangs or general crime.

Abetkov offered a few examples, “Multiple arrests for stealing vehicles, multiple arrests for breaking into houses, multiple arrests for armed and unarmed robberies…being involved in shootings, getting arrested for having firearms on them.”

Abetkov said during her time with the Youth Crimes Unit, she’s even had cases in which a 12-year-old was arrested for possessing a shotgun.

She’s found that there is one tool that teens are using more and more often to spark violence in the city.

“Social media is one of the worst things that’s brought about violent strikes,” Abetkov said.

Like the adult program, teenagers who have entered a life of crime are offered resources and services to help push them in a positive direction.

This comes on the heels of a deadly shooting on April 18, in which a brother and sister were shot and killed in Richmond.

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