MACON, Ga. — Macon Mayor Lester Miller announced a new plan to reduce crime in the county Thursday morning.
At a 10 a.m. press conference in Rosa Parks Square in downtown Macon, county commissioners, department heads, community organizations, faith leaders and other elected officials joined Miller for the announcement of MVP: Macon Violence Prevention.
It’s a new initiative with a collaborative strategy aimed to reduce violence, Miller says.
“Our community made it very clear that improving public safety is our top priority,” he said during the press conference.
The program is a joint effort between Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones, Macon Regional Crimestoppers, the Mentors Project, Bibb County Schools, neighborhood watch, several leaders in the faith-based community and more.
Miller says it will address the root causes that lead to crime in Macon-Bibb County before it happens.
“Making sure we have enough officers on the street is not enough by itself,” he said. “It requires more work than just locking people up.”
Sheriff David Davis spoke at the Thursday morning event, saying crime impacts all neighborhoods thought the Macon community and law enforcement can’t tackle it by themselves.
He says his office’s role in MVP will be to adopt new ideas and different methods to tackling crime to evolve Macon’s neighborhoods.
“From Dry Branch to Lizella and from Rivoli to Rutland,” Davis said.
Superintendent Curtis Jones says he’s looking forward to participating in this new public safety program and partnering with other community organizations to improve student safety, schools, and graduation rates.
“The community will improve when we come together to make it work,” Jones said.
District Attorney Anita Howard also has a role. She said her office will be launching a program called Restoring Inspiration by Success and Education, or R.I.S.E. She says it’s about offering hope and saving lives.
“Create these programs to focus on improving circumstances for our youth so they can succeed and they can have a future,” she said.
Miller says MVP is a comprehensive and data-driven initiative to combat violent crime. He says the county and its partners in this project will be hosting forums and community meetings to hear what people have to say about the issue.
“Within 90 days, we’ll be able to create a strategic plan that includes funding,” Miller said.
Part of the program involves also implementing state-of-the-art technology to get long-term results, Miller says. He did not specify what those technological advancements would be.
“Thoughts and prayers are nice, and I appreciate them everyday, but sometimes they don’t have the funds it takes to start this program and build this initiative,” Miller said.
Miller says there may be immediate results after initiating MVP there, but the main plan is to build a lasting initiative so Macon-Bibb can experience long-term results of the crime prevention program. To get involved, people can head to the MVP website.
“Together, we can and will make Macon-Bibb County a safer place for all of us,” he said.