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Walterboro, Laurens get new program to combat crime

A new pilot program aimed at curbing crime and helping the economy is heading to two South Carolina towns. Walterboro and Laurens are getting the Community Safety Initiative. The pilot program is a joint effort by the South Carolina Commerce Department, the Department of Juvenile Justice and SLED. Governor Mark Sanford was on hand for the announcement and says it’s important to help kids stay out of trouble.

The idea of outlets for all that energy of a young person, I think is important, and if it can be a productive outlet that could give them some life skills that could lead to a career track, I think it’s doubly important.

In Walterboro, city leaders have received a $500,000 grant to focus on keeping teens involved in their communities and out of gangs.

Sanford told WCIV in Charleston the plan includes more shuttering of abandoned buildings and better street lighting. The state still has funding for more constructive afterschool programs to keep these “at risk” kids out of trouble. If the program works in Walterboro and Laurens it could branch out to other communities in the state.

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