11 local agencies set to get $680,000 in crime prevention grants - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

11 local agencies set to get $680,000 in crime prevention grants

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Columbus crime prevention to focus on middle school students as a way to decrese drug and gang activity in Muscogee County. Columbus crime prevention to focus on middle school students as a way to decrese drug and gang activity in Muscogee County.

Eleven Columbus-area organizations will be getting their share of $680,000 of crime prevention money, the Columbus City Council and Office of Crime Prevention announced Tuesday.

One of the agencies expected to benefit from the grants will be the Juvenile Drug Court, who will be receiving $50,000. Additionally, the Junior Marshals Program will getting $38,000 to mentor kids between the ages of 11 to 14.

Crime Prevention Director Seth Brown says they are putting more of an emphasis on middle school students with the hopes of reducing drug and gang activity.

"What we're seeing, especially if you talk with the school system or these agencies, is that it seems to be that golden time of when we can try to stop some of that risky behavior that's going on. Once they get to high school, it's much more difficult to stop,” Brown said.

Brown is the only employee at the Crime Prevention Office. With most of the grant money given out, he says he can now concentrate on being a liaison between neighborhoods and law enforcement.

The money for the grants come from the Local Option Sales Tax or LOST. Brown says his office is budgeted $762,000 every year for these programs. He says if there is any money left over- it will go back into the LOST.

Other organizations getting money this year include the Big Brothers Big Sisters and Right from the Start. Both those programs and receiving crime prevention grant money for the first time.

The programs will start receiving their checks in the next few weeks.

Also from the Crimewatch file:

>> 1/24/2014: Columbus mayor responds to concerns about crime rate

>> 4/16/2014: Columbus police catch thieves involved in more than 200 burglaries

Sarah Panko

Sarah is the anchor/ producer for News Three First Edition at 5/4 central time. She also brings you the latest Consumer Reports on the Nightwatch at 11/10 central. More>>

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