More than 100 people attended the fifth annual Summer Palooza & Youth Crime Prevention Summit presented by Helping Young People Excel, a youth mentorship program at Pine Bluff.


The HYPE program was held June 24 and focused on education, public safety and community awareness.


A panel discussion featured Juvenile Judge Earnest Brown Jr., Fourth Ward Alderman Steven Mays Sr., Lt. Hosea Thompson of the Pine Bluff Police Department, and the College Heights Church of Christ minister Justin Wallace.


Participants voiced concern about interaction between law enforcement and the youth population. Brown encouraged trust between citizens and law enforcement.


Thompson said that the Pine Bluff police were doing all they can to make the city safe for everyone and mentioned the youth camp which police have sponsored for several years.


Activities for youth and families at the summit also included shopping, carnival games, free books and a fish fry.


HYPE is free. The program collaborates with College Heights Church of Christ to offer free mentorship services which involve leadership and professional development, free tutoring, one-on-one mentorship, community resource trips and monthly summits.


Services are provided to children ages 5-18 years old. To enroll children or for details, contact the HYPE coordinator, Tomekia Moore, at 870-872-2229.