Massena Hopes Boys & Girls Club Will Help Stop Juvenile Crime
Massena Police Chief Timmy Currier sees the creation of a Boys and Girls Club as a big step toward curtailing juvenile crime.
"I think kids get into trouble for three reasons," Currier said.
"One, they lack positive peer influence, two, they lack positive adult influence in their lives and third, they just don't have anything to do," Currier said.
"A Boys and Girls Club meets all of those problems and can deal with them," he added.
Over the past five years, village police have handled almost 200 cases involving juvenile incidents each year, including vandalism and criminal mischief.
Currier says a Boys and Girls Club -- with its structured activities -- could give at-risk kids an alternative to getting into trouble.
"When you look at the number of programs that are available through a Boys and Girls Club -- first of all getting kids off the street, the peer mentoring, the after-school program to help with the academics -- those are all important steps in reducing juvenile crime," he said.
Officials say a Boys and Girls Club would not only help reduce juvenile crime, but would also help with high school graduation rates.
According to state education Department data, Massena Central's graduation rate has climbed from 62 percent a few years ago to around 75 percent.
Currier says a Boys and Girls Club could also help bolster those numbers even further.
"Boys and Girls Clubs graduate their alumni at 90 percentile," he said.
Supporters are hoping to open a Boys and Girls Club within the next two years.
Thursday, May 5, 2016, Watertown, NY
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