Giving back

Published 6:11 pm Monday, May 21, 2012

Although Mick Reed is no longer chief of police in Washington, his legacy lives on in Project Next Step.

The program, which Reed was instrumental in starting as part of the Washington Police Department’s community-policing initiative, continues to prove its worth to the city. It’s been proven it helped lower the major-crimes rate in the city in recent years. It’s helped the city’s diverse communities and police officers better understand one another.

Project Next Step identifies individuals involved in unlawful conduct and presents a unique manner to deal with them. If successful, the intervention eliminates overt criminal activity while bringing city and community resources available to alter the individual’s lifestyle, according to project spokesmen.

On June 15, at least 14 professional athletes are scheduled to participate in a basketball game with area emergency-response personnel and work with area youth in a football camp. Among them are Terrance Copper, a receiver with the Kansas City Chiefs, and C.J. Wilson, a defensive end with the Green Bay Packers. They have Beaufort County roots. Terrance and C.J., thanks for giving something back to your communities.

“Anything to help to give back to the community,” Copper said in an interview. “This is something big that the Washington Police Department is doing. I think it’s outstanding that they’re even doing this program.”

Amen to giving back to the community. Amen to the police department moving forward with Project Next Step.