Crime prevention plans discussed at Columbus city council - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Crime prevention plans discussed at Columbus city council

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

The office of crime prevention in Columbus came to council Tuesday evening with a list of programs they feel will help stabilize the neighborhoods and individuals most likely to be involved in illegal activity. Under the proposal, ten organizations will each receive between $42,000 and $105,000.

"We don't fund any program 100%.   There's no program we fund 100%. The programs, in many cases, it's kind of like the way many other non-profits do, we decrease the amount of funding they ask for because there's things that we pull out, like travel or unnecessary expenses that we ourselves as government employees can't do," said Seth Brown, director of crime prevention.

Items on the list include the Boxwood Project, a recreation program at a newly renovated park targeting at-risk youth.  

The other nine groups are:

The Non-Violent Felon Employment Program of Columbus Technical College

-helping to employ non-violent felons and make them self-sufficient

Family Center of Columbus (F.A.S.T)

-at-risk youth facilities aimed at reducing dropout rates, juvenile crime, and delinquency.

Adult Drug Court

-helping to fight drug addiction

Education Is The Answer (E.I.T.A.)

- programs for mentoring juveniles ages 13-19 to reduce truancy, drug use, and pregnancy

Mental Health Court

- programs to help with mental illness and drug addiction

Chattahoochee Valley Jail Ministry

- helping inmates get their G.E.D.

Literacy Alliance of Columbus

-seeking to increase the number of children and adults who can read

Neighborhood Focused on African American Youth

- providing equality in after-school programming for African-American youth and tutoring children

Samarac Foundation

- increasing academic scores and leadership skills for juveniles

All ten items on the list have been tabled until next week because the city wants to identify whether the executives or board members of these non-profit groups have contributed $250.00 or more to the political campaigns of council members.

"I think they want the vetting process to be a little more intensive, maybe for the people who are applying for grants.   We don't have any issue with that.   We're very transparent and we always have been," said Brown.

Finding out that a contribution was made would not necessarily disqualify an organization from receiving funding.

Also present at tonight's meeting was the local NAACP president, Nate Sanderson, who wanted to present his concerns about the three recent deaths in the Muscogee County Jail.

"You can't keep cutting cutting cutting, and then expect to have the same quality product, we need to make sure that we allocate resources because the one thing that is paramount is safety.   If government cannot protect its citizens, then government is not doing its job," said Sanderson.

Mayor pro tem Evelyn Turner Pugh responded saying the council is limited in its ability to oversee the jail and has no authority over day-to-day decisions.  

The money will come out of an already approved budget of slightly over $700,000. The director said about $40,000 of that will be kept in reserve in the event of an unexpected expense.

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