JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – WJTV 12 News met Jaden Ford earlier this month at a Jackson neighborhood National Night Out. Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church hosted the outdoor event, and Jaden was busy helping to set up the event.

One of our reporters asked him why he thought this crime prevention program was so important. Here’s what he said, and it’s why we wanted to take to this young man further.

“Because if the more people come out, they care. The more people they’re going to try to stop killings and gangs, and violence because teens killing each other. They pull the trigger, and they are just 13 or my age, 12 years old, and they pulled the trigger of a gun because parents are not at home, not supporting them, and we don’t have God in our heart,” said Jaden.

Two weeks later, we caught up with Jaden at Shady Grove’s Wednesday night bible service. His grandfather Lee Ford said Jaden has been raised in this church and assists with whatever is asked of him, including every Saturday cleaning of the church.

WJTV 12 News asked Jaden if he had any thoughts on what he would say to city leaders if he had the opportunity.

“I have a lot of them. First of all, to stop the killing, crime, hatred amongst men, women, boys, girls,” he said.

When asked how to accomplish this, Jaden said, “So, I believe that the church provides stability for kids, youth and parents. Youth, parents, anyone can come, the door is open to learn about God and God’s grace and miracles and power.”