(10/19/12) - Law enforcement and civic leaders agree - it's time to get serious about youth
One group that has had an impact dealing with youth violence in Saginaw is Parishioners on Patrol, formed in 2006. Police say the group has already made a positive impact in the community.
Now, a $50,000 grant from the Michigan State Police will help to bring its crime watch and school programs to Buena Vista Township.
Pastor Larry Camel, who founded Parishioners on Patrol in Saginaw, is bringing it home. He is a resident of Buena Vista Township.
"This grant will give us some dollars to make an impact in Buena Vista," he said. "(Buena Vista) is having a crime problem, a lot of B and E's going on out here."
As they have done in Saginaw, the group, along with police, will head into the Buena Vista schools.
"Going to go into the schools, and we are going to present our teaching education and mentoring program," said Yvonne Brantley of the Michigan State Police. "Help the kids stay out of trouble, give them something positive to do in those hours after school when crime increases."
"Buena Vista is a microcosm of Saginaw. Their problems become our problems," said Sean Waterman, Buena Vista interim police chief.
Waterman welcomes any help from the non-profit organization.
"Lower our crime rate, and get the youth of BV more goal-oriented toward education and doing the right thing. How do you criticize that? It's a good plan," he said.
Meanwhile, Camel is looking at possible expansion into other communities.
"We are looking at the whole county of Saginaw, and possibly Flint," he said.
The $50,000 grant is for one year, and Parishioners on Patrol can reapply again next year.
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