Longer rec center hours aimed at curbing crime - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Longer rec center hours aimed at curbing crime

Lonnie Burten Rec Center is one of four with later summer hours (Source: WOIO) Lonnie Burten Rec Center is one of four with later summer hours (Source: WOIO)

Four Cleveland recreation centers received $42,000 in federal grant money to expand hours and make a difference in those communities.

The goal is to get kids off of the streets and keep them busy with plenty of activities. Longer hours mean more activities for kids and teens to participate in.

After a violent weekend in the city, officials hope that keeping rec centers open a few extra hours could save lives.

The 4th of July weekend left at least a dozen people hurt in Cleveland-- including five kids and teens from ages two to 16.

The community was left asking what can be done to stop the crime?

"People can't have their children on the street, they're in jeopardy of having what happened tonight. We need more police patrolling at the time,” said Ebb Hood, a church elder.

Extra grant money from The Cleveland Foundation could help.

Starting Wednesday, four recreation centers will keep their doors open three hours longer. That includes: 

  • Lonnie Burten, 2511 East 46th Street
  • Zelma George, 3155 Martin L. King Blvd.
  • Cudell, 1910 West Blvd.
  • Glenville, 680 E. 113th Street

Those centers will now shut down at 11:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday until August 1.

City leaders hope the recreation centers will keep summer boredom away.

"Give us an opportunity to see our friends, have fun and stuff," said Shelby Manning, who spent Tuesday evening at the Lonnie Burten Recreation Center.

City officials say each rec center will also be staffed with security until closing time.

Community activists say it's a small step in the fight against crime that could go far. They don't want to see any more innocent victims.

"If you can't give your life for saving your children, you can't give your life for nothing," said Art McKoy with Black on Black Crime.

Copyright 2015 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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