Aiken officials to discuss Safer Community crime initiative

Aiken residents can meet with law enforcement and city officials during two community meetings Thursday to discuss the Safer Community initiative.


According to a news release, the meetings will allow residents to learn about a crime-reduction initiative the Aiken De­partment of Public Safety
has been reviewing for months.

Police said the initiative has proved effective in other parts of the U.S.

Through the initiative, offenders meet with law enforcement and members of the community to hear about the effects of the crimes they are committing
and are told the penalties they face if they continue to commit crimes. It provides offenders with an opportunity to choose a more productive path.

The initiative has reduced the percentage of people responsible for the bulk of crimes, according to authorities.

Anyone interested in the initiative is asked to attend a community meeting at H. Odell Weeks Activities Center, 1700 Whiskey Road, Rooms 1 and 2, at 1 p.m. or Friend­ship Bap­tist Church, 515 Rich­land Ave. E., at 6:30 p.m.

Authorities are asking neighborhood groups, parents and grandparents, current and former gang members, business owners, drug dealers and users, faith groups, violent or
chronic offenders, and community service providers to attend.

Members of the High Point (N.C.) Police Department and High Point Citizens Against Violence, which have seen success with the program, will be present to answer questions.