First "Operation Good Shepherd" meeting to combat violence is tonight | News
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA)- With Montgomery's alarming homicide rate, police are doing everything they can to infiltrate neighborhoods and make a difference.
Now they're asking members of the clergy to help. It's called Operation Good Shepherd and the first community meeting is scheduled for Thursday night.
It isn't a new idea, but not very many cities have tried it up until now.
Montgomery Police are modeling it on a similar program in Dayton, Ohio. There the program is called PACT, or Police and Clergy Working Together. In Montgomery it will be called Operation Good Shepherd, and it's coming just in time for the hot summer months, when crime stats often go up.
Here's how the program works in Dayton: faith leaders attend weekly classes in which police teach them ways they can discourage crime and show them exactly what's happening in their communiites.Then those pastors go back to their congregations to spread the word.
The first Montgomery meeting is Thursday night, June 6 at the Gateway Park Lodge located at 3800 Davenport Drive. It starts at 6:30 p.m. This initial meeting will include a participation sign-up for religious leaders and a presentation discussing the purpose of the program, training sessions and goals.
After the clergy graduate, they'll keep working with police, doing ride-alongs and responding to crisis situations in their neighborhoods.
Right now, it's just getting off the ground, but police say you'll start hearing much more about Operation Good Shepherd in the months to come.
Police say that there will also be several other new crime prevention initiatives over the summer. One that's already started involves school resource officers. Now that classes are over, officers are infiltrating the neighborhoods around the schools to get a better handle on what's going on.
Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.