Faith Programs Partner To Fight Crime In Montgomery

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By Catalina Trivino

From Montgomery -- the organizers of two programs are teaming together to help curb crime, but the focus isn't on more patrols or a neighborhood watch program -- it's about fighting crime through faith by targeting children.

While the murder rate is down this year compared to last year, the non-violent crimes are on par with 2013. Many of those crimes happening in west Montgomery. It's why two west Montgomery women say they want to do something about it, so they're reaching out to children hoping they don't commit crimes in the future.

The Montgomery Police Department has cleared 80 percent of its crimes, 10 percent less than last year. And with Montgomery's new crime-fighting strategy, "Operation Domino," two women are stepping up in what they're calling the hardest hit crime area in Montgomery.

"Let the kids know that just because you are from the west side you don't have to be a product of your own environment," Said Tomika Brown, founder of an organization called Teens and an Angel. She's partnering with VJ Giles, director of Like Me Mentoring.

Both new spiritual-based organizations reaching out to kids up to 19-years-old. Giles says the programs use someone who has experienced the consequences of crime themselves to mentor young people.

"The violence has to stop. You have a purpose. My mom was killed 15 years ago. So I am a product of the west side... and that's not an excuse," Said Giles.

An excuse the county commission isn't taking lightly either. Commissioner Elton Dean says mentors are needed...

"We can help them enhance their way of living and prepare them for middle school, high school," Said Dean.

It's why the organizations is also using role models in the community to teach children about entrepreneurship. While the activities it seem like fun to the children, Brown says it's having big dreams and a role model that will make a child's future alittle brighter.

"Stop them from being in the streets, stop the gang violence," Said Brown.

Both organizations also provide scholarship programs, classes on etiquette and entrepreneurship.
The founders say all it takes is having a role model -- and they want kids to know, they have a place to go, if they're looking for one.

If you're interested in joining or helping fund these organizations, they meet the second and fourth Saturday of each month between noon and 4 p.m at the WKXN Radio Station (858 West South Boulevard, Montgomery)

You can also call 470-257-3364 or e-mail teensandanangel@yahoo.com

 



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