Statesboro Mayor Jonathan McCollar is organizing a community meeting called “A Call to Action for our Youth in the City” for 6 p.m. Friday at Agape Worship Center, 810 West Grady St. It will be open to the public.
This gathering is prompted by the slaying last weekend of 16-year-old James Mikell Jr., the mayor confirmed. However, he said it will not be a vigil or remembrance-type event.
“It’s basically a call to action on behalf of youth in the community that are in at-risk situations,” McCollar said.
Volunteers working with McCollar from the time of his election in 2017 organized a Statesboro Youth Commission. It is one of three such commissions – another being devoted to diversity and inclusion and the third to workforce development – adopted by City Council last year as official advisory arms of the city.
Friday’s meeting will address ways to provide safety and positive paths for children and teens through the work of the commission and existing organizations, according to McCollar.
“We’ve already done the preliminary things as far as connecting the dots as to who is currently providing services to youth within the community, so this is an opportunity for us to engage the community on a greater scale to execute its strategic plan as relates to young people,” he said.
Responding to a dispatch around 7 a.m. Saturday, Statesboro police found Mikell, reportedly with more than one gunshot wound, at Luetta Moore Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Bulloch County coroner’s office.
Police later announced that a $2,500 reward is being offered for information leading to arrests of the person or persons responsible for the homicide. Anyone with info in the case is urged to call Senior Detective Ben Purvis as (912) 764-9911.
Anonymous tips may be made online at www.tipsoft.com or by sending the text “TIPSSPD” followed by the message to 274637 (CRIMES). All information is strictly confidential, police said.
Luetta Moore Park is in the heart of a majority African-American neighborhood on Statesboro’s west side and was the site of McCollar’s November 2017 election night celebration.