Governor Joins Mayors of Walterboro and Laurens to Unveil Community Safety Initiative
FIRST-OF-ITS KIND PROGRAM AIMED AT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT WILL REVIATLIZE NEIGHBORHOODS AND ADDRESS NEEDS OF AT-RISK YOUTH
Walterboro, S.C. - October 28, 2010 - Today Gov. Mark Sanford joined Commerce Secretary Joe Taylor, Department of Juvenile Justice Director Judge Bill Byars, SLED Chief Reggie Lloyd, and the mayors of Laurens and Walterboro to announce a new pilot program to benefit at-risk youth. This first-of-its-kind pilot program * implemented jointly by DJJ, SLED and the Department of Commerce * is aimed at improving community safety, aiding local at-risk youth, and strengthening community soil conditions to encourage economic development.
Judge Byars Speaks at Press Conference
"For the last eight years our administrations has focused on improving the state's business soil conditions, and the fact that last year South Carolina led the Southeast in jobs recruited suggests we've met with some success on that front," Gov. Sanford said. "There's always room for improvement, however, and inasmuch as public safety is foundational to attracting investment and jobs, this initiative represents a commonsense way to improve quality of life in local communities * which will ultimately mean more people deciding to start and expand a business. I'd give credit to Secretary Taylor, Director Lloyd and Judge Byars for the work they've put into getting this program up and running * and I'd thank Mayor Brownlee and Mayor Young, as well as the staff and volunteers in Laurens and Walterboro who'll be helping young people to develop skills and habits that in time will make their communities better places to live, work and raise a family."
"The City of Walterboro is very excited to have been selected to participate in the Community Safety Initiative. We are especially proud that this selection was based on our ongoing efforts in the area of public safety and economic development and our continuing partnership with the Department of Commerce, SLED and DJJ. We look forward to working with all of these entities as we implement this extremely innovative initiative. We are honored by the trust that has been placed with us and we appreciate the opportunity to help develop this program. We are confident that it will have a positive impact on our community and state from an economic as well as a social perspective," said Mayor Bill Young, City of Walterboro.
"We are very excited to have been selected to participate in this pilot initiative partnering with the Department of Commerce, DJJ and SLED. This funding will allow Laurens to expand our efforts to strengthen our neighborhoods by providing a cleaner safer community in which to serve our citizens. This is a huge financial boost to a small city where funding is so limited," said Mayor Sharon P. Brownlee, City of Laurens.
"SLED is pleased to partner with the DJJ, Commerce and community leaders in the cities of Laurens and Walterboro in a collaborative effort to strengthen our communities in South Carolina," SLED Chief Reggie Lloyd said. "By combining resources in this unique pilot program, we are confident that this program will augment the already ongoing efforts by local and state authorities to enhance the safety of the citizens living in these vibrant communities. SLED looks forward to participating with community and state leaders as we seek to make South Carolina safer for our citizens and businesses."
"I appreciate the forward-thinking vision of city leaders in Walterboro and Laurens for affording the Department of Juvenile Justice the opportunity to open a program that is two-fold," DJJ Director Bill Byars said. "First, it will keep our children off the street between those critical hours of 4 to 7 p.m. when children are likely to be home along. Secondly, and just as important, this new initiative will provide job training skills and jobs to children in Walterboro and Laurens."
The Community Safety Initiative will incorporate a two-fold approach to address neighborhood revitalization, education, training and technical assistance. First, neighborhood revitalization will improve the appearance of neighborhoods through demolition of vacant and dilapidated buildings, clearance, renovation, security street lighting, sidewalks for pedestrian safety, painting, and minor repairs to building exteriors. Second, training and technical assistance will be provided by local and state law enforcement agencies, and the Department of Juvenile Justice will work with at-risk youth by offering academic assistance through mentor programs, job skills training and work experience through community improvement activities and internships with local businesses and organizations. The pilot initiative, the bulk of which is funded by $1 million in federal grants, involves a partnership between SLED, DJJ, Commerce, and the cities of Walterboro and Laurens.
South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice
4900 Broad River Road
Columbia SC, 29212-3552
The South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age. THE FOLLOWING OFFICES HAVE BEEN DESIGNATED TO HANDLE INQUIRIES REGARDING THE NONDISCRIMINATON POLICIES: Title IX -- Inspector General's Office -- 803-896-9595 Title II & 504 -- Special Education Office -- 803-896-8484.