The Macon Police Department will head up the city's anti-gang initiative.
City council originally discussed making the Mayor's office the lead agency for the program, but some council members felt the police department should take charge.
Councilman Virgil Watkins says the city is looking to hire a coordinator for the program. That person will work for the police department and will look for new ways for officers to interact with kids in the community.
Police Chief Mike Burns says he already has a few ideas to get the ball rolling.
He says, "They can go talk to civic groups, churches. If parents need tips, they can talk to parents. I want them to get more involved with the youth out there that are gang members or have the potential to become gang members."
Watkins hopes the program's reach doesn't stop there. He says, "There's a whole plethora of ideas and programs that other communities have initiated to reduce the amount of youth that are joining and involved in gangs. I'm very interested in our city beginning some of these programs. Some of them have shown a lot of success. I don't care who runs it as long as we have a concerted effort that we're going to do better and we're actually going to be 21st century and productive about it."
Watkins says the city set aside around $60,000 to fund the program, but he also plans to find grant money to add to the budget.