CRIME MONEY GOES TO FIGHT AGAINST DRUGS
Prince George Community Policing will be using proceeds of crime seized by the province to educate youth at risk in the city about the dangers of drugs and gang involvement.
Prince George-Mount Robson MLA Shirley Bond announced a $17,500 grant Friday to Community Policing from the Civil Forfeiture Remediation and Crime Prevention program. Since May 2006, the Civil Forfeiture Act has allowed the B.C. Supreme Court to seize $5.6 million in property acquired through crime or to further criminal activity.
"The program will focus on a number of forums," Bond said. "This is about about trying to empower and bring value to youth."
Through The Right Stuff ( TRST ) Factor program, Community Policing will host a series of forums for youth about drug use, gang violence and Internet safety.
Community Policing co-ordinator Linda Parker said the group will work with other community groups already working with youth at risk to make sure the message gets to those who need it.
"The educational sessions will be about giving them alternative life choices. We want to empower them with positive life choices," Parker said. "The forums will really address some key youth issues."
In addition, the funding will be used to engage local youth to design and paint a mural in the 20th Avenue pedestrian underpass.
"Pedestrian tunnels are traditionally problematic. ( But ) public murals tend to remain untouched," she said. "We are hoping it will be left alone and make people feel safer."
Parker said they hope to involve area youth who use the pedestrian tunnel on a regular basis in the mural design.
Prince George RCMP Supt. Brenda Butterworth-Carr said that crime reduction strategies like TRST Factor are important for safe communities.
"I want to recognize what Community Policing brings to the community," she said. "It's such a huge part of policing and needs to be acknowledged."
Prince George Community Policing was one of 14 organizations to receive funding in the current round of grants. Over $1.3 million of the $5.6 million seized has been used for victim compensation and crime reduction projects.
"Additional financial support allows for additional opportunities to empower youth," DARE and BRAVE youth program coordinator Cst. Deb Medcke said. "What better way to use proceeds of crime than to prevent crime?"
Prince George Free Press
Copyright: 2009 BC Newspaper Group