COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus city council approved $300,000 to kick off programs for the Department of Crime Prevention. It's been around for a year now, but many wonder: what is this department doing? News Leader Nine sat down with the director for some specific answers.
You may not see everything going on behind the scenes with the Crime Prevention Board, but Director Seth Brown says a lot of his work up to this point hasn't taken place in public, "The goal for this year is to put the Columbus State University and Columbus Technical College programs into place, to get those up and running. Those are the two biggest things we've been working on since we opened the office. The other program we want in place is the Neighborhood Association."
The board is also teaming up with local organizations for outreach. One aspect is to prevent crime at a young age with a new mentoring program.
"Many of the juveniles that are involved in delinquency or criminal activity, in many cases they're looking for attention. Good attention or bad attention, they want attention. The mentors we put in place with this program will provide leadership and attention," Brown explained.
He says another program will take reformed felons and help them re-establish their place in society, "They go back to a life of crime just to live because they can't find employment. We feel like providing gainful employment through companies in Columbus, they will them not go back to a life of crime."
The final step the Crime Prevention Board is taking is to encourage community members to take a more active role in preventing crime, "If we put associations in place throughout the city, that creates a network of communication and education and involvement to where people become more involved in the community and they know their neighbors."
Since city council approved $300,000 worth of grants Tuesday, the Crime Prevention Board will now get to work developing the programs. The official kick-off for the "Neighborhood Association" is slated for March, the one year anniversary of Seth Brown starting as Columbus' Crime Prevention Director.