Bibb Sheriff’s Office cracks down on youth crime
Sheriff David Davis says most gang members committing crimes are older, but there are some younger members as well. He feels if they can improve their outreach efforts, they’ll be able to sway juveniles from a life of crime.
“A lot of our underage people are involved in gang activity,” explains Sheriff Davis. “The hope is to intervene early in their lives so that they don’t start a life of more serious crime when they become adults.”
The Department of Justice will work with the Sheriff’s Office to come up with strategies that help prevent juvenile crime.
“Right now, we’re in the planning stages. As we move into the first part of next year, some definite plans will be developed,” continues Sheriff Davis.
Sheriff Davis thinks the partnership will help strengthen his existing youth outreach programs.
“Our deputies are in the schools everyday,” recalls Sheriff Davis.
They’re teaching students how to make good life choices through the “CHAMPS” program.
“A lot of our curriculum deals with drugs, harmful affects of drugs, bullying, and gang activity,” adds Lt. Ellis Sinclair with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Outreach Section.
Even though in-school lessons are only for fifth graders, Lt. Sinclair runs after school and Summer program that are open to ages nine to 15.
“There’s selected neighborhoods that we go to. We help them with their homework. We have sports programs,” comments Lt. Sinclair.
Lt. Sinclair wants the youth in Macon-Bibb County to understand law enforcement is their friend. He believes the way to do that is to develop a strong relationship.
“It’s all about them learning what authority is all about. We don’t have to lock up people in order to get their attention. We’re trying to connect with our young people to let them know that we are not the enemy,” says Lt. Sinclair.
41NBC also talked with Commissioner Al Tilman. He said the Bibb Sheriff’s Office and Department of Justice partnership is connected to the youth focused efforts he’s been doing. He feels the Department of Justice will bring all the individual youth initiatives under one umbrella and help provide more resources.