FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) --The Conference was for something called Project Safe Neighborhoods.
You might recognize the name because KCTV5 has reported on big busts funded by the re-invigorated program.
“After many years of neglect, we are bringing back this lifesaving program,” said President Trump.
It’s fitting that the gathering was in Missouri, because it was former Missouri Governor John Ashcroft who started the program when he was US Attorney General.
The US Attorney for Western Missouri recently highlighted a big operation funded by the resurrected program, that resulted in the seizure of guns, ammo and drugs, along with arrests of 56 repeat offenders with federal warrants.
“At the core of our strategy is restoring respect for law enforcement, and there is nobody that deserves respect more than you people,” voiced President Trump.
Much of the program focuses funding on enforcement to bring people to court.
But one man getting an award for his contribution to the program, puts his focus on…
“…the front porch and the living room,” proclaimed James Clark, Better Family Life.
James Clark’s St Louis organization, Better Family Life, trains people to interact with families, provide resources, and step in when they hear about trouble brewing to keep it from boiling over.
“James works with schools, churches, family members, and friends to deescalate conflicts and stop violence before it happens, a very dangerous thing he does,” explained President Trump.
“We think that for too long, families living in the urban core have gone grossly undeserved,” exclaimed Clark.
Clark said he was humbled by the honor and would use it to send a message.
“I’m going to say to our president in no uncertain terms that it’s time for leadership top lead with love,” said Clark.
In addition to enforcement and community outreach, the president spoke about the need for prison reform to try to cut back on recidivism.
He made note of a bill called the First Step Act, which would add $250-million to rehabilitation programming, things like job training, education, and mental health and drug treatment for those in federal prisons.
The president has been pushing hard to get the bill heard before the Senate before newly elected members of Congress take office in 2019.