Macon Police were turned away again Monday night as they tried to get Youth and Intervention funding approved by Macon City Council.
The Public Safety committee wants a group plan created that goes outside the box to slow down youth violence.
Connecting with today's youth poses a tough challenge for law enforcement.
Bruce Griggs, of Atlanta, presented the public safety committee with "Alive and Free" a youth program that focuses on keeping young people out of trouble. Griggs uses music, sports, and entertainment to reach kids who won't listen to law enforcement, teachers, or community leaders.
"The music celebrities, the sports celebrities, these guys come to our program and they endorse what we're doing. Because an old man, such as myself, nah a kid that's 16 years old looks at me as his grandfather," said Griggs.
The unconventional approach and possibly a new outside program is exactly what Macon City Council believes could stand up to youth crime.
"It's not just a police enforcement problem but we're trying to get to something that builds life skills within our youth and builds better decision making and critical thinking within our youth," said Councilman Virgil Watkins, the chairman of the public safety committee.
The Public Safety committee denied the police department's request for six new positions in the Youth and Intervention Department, a move that would cost the city $300,000. Even though police officials believe their plan can be effective...they support new concepts.
"It's more valuable that we take our time and look at all the angles and get it right the first time, so we don't mind going back and looking at some new ideas and some more input and we'll evaluate it and bring them another plan back," said Deputy Chief, Mike Carswell.
The "Alive and Free Campaign" recently joined with Atlanta's recreation department and Griggs says it's been successful. The program works alongside the public safety departments, the school system and even utilizes parental involvement.
"Out of the five recreation centers that we've worked with none of the kids have become repeat offenders. They have not gotten back into the juvenile justice system just because they want to be around this music, they want to be around sports, they want to be around the entertainment. But while we're tricking them with that catalyst they're learning skills to become alive and free," said Griggs.
The Public Safety committee plans to hear more proposals of outside organizations in the future and an updated plan from Macon Police in two weeks.