The United States Department of Justice has awarded the city of Marietta an additional $200,000 to continue the city's Weed and Seed crime-fighting program along Franklin Road. The federal program helps communities with serious crime problems bring together people and resources to prevent and control crime and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods.
Marietta Weed and Seed coordinator Daneea Badio said the $200,000 is in addition to $175,000 the program received last year. This year's grant includes $175,000 to fund weeding activities including overtime shifts of police patrols, and seeding activities such as community policing initiatives like the new Police Athletic League's soccer program, overall program coordination and increased social services from agencies such as Travelers Aid and the Latin American Association.
An extra $25,000 was awarded for prevention specialty programming focused on developing stronger conflict resolution skills with area youth. The Boys and Girls Club, Girls Inc. and the Council on Alcohol and Drugs will provide specialty programming.
The city is eligible to compete for funding up to $175,000 annually for five years.
"From all I have seen and heard, Marietta is doing a terrific job with the Weed and Seed site," United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia David Nahmias said.
City Manager Bill Bruton said the successes on Franklin Road are the result of the community working together.
"This would not be possible without the hard work and dedication shown by all of the organizations and individuals who make up the Weed and Seed team," Bruton said. "Congratulations to everyone who works so hard to make Marietta a better place."
The United States Department of Justice provides national leadership and management of the Weed and Seed program. Of 98 communities across the country seeking recognition in 2006, Marietta was one of 28 communities chosen.
The Weed and Seed program stresses collaboration, coordination, and community participation. The approach gives communities experiencing high crime and social and economic decay a comprehensive structure, critical planning tools, and access to a national network focused on crime prevention, citizen safety and neighborhood revitalization. The initiative allows communities using the Weed and Seed strategy to develop and undertake efforts tailored uniquely to the issues, needs and concerns of each neighborhood.
The Weed and Seed program also brings federal resources to Marietta to join city police in tackling crime. The selection of the Franklin Road neighborhood as a Weed and Seed community is the result of a four-year effort by the city of Marietta to produce positive changes for the residents and the business owners in the area. The effort began with the establishment of the Franklin Road Task Force and Marietta Weed and Seed committee.
The city's relationships with the community in fighting crime were also a factor in Marietta being awarded the 2006 All-America City award. Marietta is the only Georgia city in 31 years to win the award.
For more information, call 770-794-5640.