The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office (BSO) has invited the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Diagnostic Center to assist with determining the nature and extent that property crimes, drugs, and gang-related crime are driven by youth offenders. The Center will work with the BSO and the community to identify juvenile delinquency intervention strategies and develop a plan to enhance BSO’s capacity to respond to public safety concerns. The Center’s engagement with the BSO is a result of the White House Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative (SC2), the Obama Administration’s agenda to build ladders of opportunity for all Americans who are working hard to make it to the middle class.

“We saw the Center’s expertise in evaluating evidence-based case studies and developing solutions and recognized it could be a resource in Macon-Bibb,” says Bibb County Sheriff David Davis.

Working collaboratively, the Center and BSO will collect and analyze data about juvenile delinquency to better develop programs, outreach efforts, and policies to better prevent crime in neighborhoods. The BSO has already begun new forms of youth and community outreach, and the Center will provide additional insight through data and best practices, help build capacity among the community for efforts, and help coordinate programs to better serve the entire county.

“Macon is a dynamic and progressive community. Consolidation has brought about a new synergy amongst community partners which will bring about great things,” says Sheriff Davis. “The work of our SC2 Team and the Office of Justice Programs will only help to strengthen our prevention initiatives to help keep our youth on the right track to success.”

“With the consolidation of our governments and the support of the SC2 team, we have the chance to take a new look at the issues our community faces and find new and innovative solutions to overcome them,” says Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert.

There will be a 6-8 month assessment by the Center of current needs and efforts in the areas of public safety, education, juvenile justice, gangs, and drugs that will be compared to effective solutions in other areas of the country. This review will lead to an assessment that can justify future DOJ grant applications and may increase Macon-Bibb County’s competitiveness.

About the Office of Justice Programs Diagnostic Center
The Center will provide customized technical assistance to help Macon-Bibb identify and confront persistent, systemic public safety challenges. In addition to addressing a particular public safety concern, engagement with the Diagnostic Center is intended to build the community’s capacity to act independently and use data to make future policy and programming decisions.

Federal agencies and experts across the Department of Justice are available to leverage resources and develop a coordinated response to community-specific public safety issues. They will also be able to provide assistance with collecting and analyzing data about public safety issues and then identify strategies and solutions that have demonstrated success in reducing crime.

For more information visit www.ojpdiagnosticcenter.org.

About SC2 in Macon-Bibb County
On Thursday, January 16, 2014, the White House and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the expansion of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Initiative to seven additional cities, including Macon-Bibb County.

As a participant, a federal inter-agency expert team is working with Macon-Bibb County, community organizations, local businesses, and philanthropic foundations to advance our vision for economic growth and development. The primary goal is to help Macon-Bibb more effectively invest existing resources, provide advice, and expertise in support of local priorities, better align federal programs and investments, and facilitate new partnerships and peer learning opportunities wherever possible.

President Obama established SC2 in 2011as an innovative and flexible program designed to strengthen local capacity, coordinate federal investments, and spark growth in economically distressed communities. Federal inter-agency expert teams have been deployed to work alongside city leadership, community organizations, local businesses and philanthropic foundations to support the cities’ visions for economic growth and development. The primary goal is to help cities more effectively invest existing resources, provide advice and expertise in support of local priorities, better align federal programs and investments, and facilitate new partnerships and peer learning opportunities wherever possible.

The SC2 Initiative was developed through engagement with mayors, Members of Congress, foundations, nonprofits and other community partners who are committed to addressing the challenges facing local governments as they work to create economic opportunity for all residents. For more information about the SC2 Teams involvement and goals for the new locations, click here.  For more information about accomplishments of the initiative in the original pilot locations and policy insights that have surfaced as a result, please review the first SC2 Annual Report.