Central Georgia Technical College has always served the people of central Georgia through education designed to produce a quality workforce. Now CGTC is taking an active role in the community in a different way by supporting efforts against crime, through its Neighborhood Watcher project.
The project is a result of a $2,000 grant the college was awarded through the Grassroots Arts Program, administered by Macon Arts in partnership with the Georgia Council for the Arts.
Through the grant, CGTC's Neighborhood Watcher project will use visual art to raise public awareness to prevent crime and provide education to empower people to tackle crime in the community. Artwork drawn by students in CGTC’s Digital Media Production program and painted by the professional artist Kerri Neiheisel, along with other materials will be distributed through the middle schools in Baldwin County. A copy of the artwork was presented to the executive committee of Macon Arts on February 19.
Members of CGTC’s Office of Student Affairs along with the Student Government Association are collaborating with the Milledgeville Police Department, Baldwin County Sheriff's Department and DARE Officers, who will distribute materials as part of their activities in the local schools.
Dr. Elizabeth Hibbitts, CGTC's grants coordinator, notes the college has a responsibility to educate citizens beyond its doors. "Taking on projects of this kind, in collaboration with Macon Arts, gives us the opportunity to create a community action that will lead to a win-win situation for all involved," Hibbitts said.
The project is designed to communicate ways to prevent crime from a young person's perspective. "Crime is something we all must play a role in eliminating," Hibbitts noted. "So it just seems practical to introduce ways of eliminating crime to our youth at an early age so they understand the dangers of crime and how they can help prevent it. This project does just that…it presents a way to report crimes through a form of communication in which our youth understand."
The project employs the concept of Neighborhood Watch programs, developed in the late 1960's. These programs are one of the most effective and least costly ways to prevent crime and reduce fear. Neighborhood Watch fights the isolation that crime both creates and feeds upon. It forges bonds among area residents, helps reduce burglaries and robberies, and improves relations between police and the communities they serve.
About Central Georgia Technical College
A comprehensive higher education institution, Central Georgia Technical College provides students more than 200 career program opportunities with numerous degree, diploma and certificate options, in addition to customized business and industry services, continuing education and adult education services. The College serves Baldwin, Bibb, Crawford, Jones, Monroe, Putnam and Twiggs Counties. More information about CGTC can be found at www.centralgatech.edu.
CGTC's Grants Coordinator, Dr. Elizabeth Hibbitts, left, presents a Neighborhood Watchers print to Macon Arts Executive Director Catharine Sample.