Girls Inc. hosts Community Partnership Day with city leaders, first responders

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 12:21 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Today some members of Girls Inc, in Columbus got some up-close and personal time with city leaders and first responders.

It all started with a phone call to Columbus Police to have officers who patrol in the Baker Center area on Levy Road to meet the girls. The outcome turned out to be much more than the center’s new Executive Director could have imagined.

Not only did the police officers show up, but the mayor, police chief, fire chief, city councilman and Cure Violence representative also participated.

Girl’s Inc. Executive Director Gail Burgos says she crime prevention starts early with training and educating the youth.

“Amazing today, the panelists, the chiefs, the councilmen, the mayor himself, and their responses to the girls’ questions was just absolutely priceless,” said Burgos.

Columbus Police Department Chief Freddie Blackmon was asked by one of the students, “What celebrities have you met?” He responded, “I have met 100 famous people here today when I met you guys.”

After the Q&A, the girls and their special guests headed outside to play games.

“For the young ladies to get to see who the officials are and understand crime prevention at an early age - to know these partners are here to help them is really exciting,” said Burgos.

Burgos also said this was very timely for them because the center has been a recent target of vandalism. Their vans have been burglarized and damaged to the point that they are no longer parking them at their facility to prevent further acts of crime. The girls also have questions about the recent gun violence in the city since they know some of the victims and this opportunity to meet city leaders and first responders gives the girls a chance to address their fears.

CPD Chief of Staff Katina Williams and Fire Chief Salvatore Scarpa sack-raced with the girls. They also played kick ball and had a great time overall.

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