New Nonprofit Hoping to Increase Public Safety in Greene
Over the past two decades Greene County's population has risen by 80 percent, and that growth has created a need for increased public safety.
The Public Safety Foundation of Greene County was established to help increase public safety throughout the county. It is a new nonprofit hoping to get its feet on the ground through grants and donations.
The group is working alongside the sheriff's office to help keep the area safe.
"We need the extra manpower within the sheriff's office to facilitate the safety in the community," said Sheriff Deputy Michael Martin.
After they have completed training, volunteers from the Public Safety Foundation will work alongside sheriff deputies.
"Help augment them during patrols, and maybe bring in some additional security resources to the schools," said Carl Schmitt, president of the Public Safety Foundation.
The nonprofit hopes to take on 10 auxiliary deputies - and although they are volunteers, the cost isn't cheap. It will cost $2,100 per volunteer to supply equipment and uniforms .
Volunteers will also be tasked with helping keep Greene County schools safe. Schmitt says he hopes to provide crisis boxes for each classroom.
"Teachers would have an immediate resource in the event something happens as opposed to having to wait for medical help to arrive," said Schmitt.
The crisis boxes could be used in a number of situations - especially when a classroom is on lockdown, and medical help may not be able to reach injured students.
Another goal of the nonprofit is to develop a youth development program. It would be a way to give kids something to do after school and keep them out of trouble.
"It might help deal with truancy among the kids and get them involved in positive things such as a Boys and Girls Club," said Schmitt.
The nonprofit has an advisory board of Greene County community leaders.
It is currently looking for volunteers and organizations interested in donating money. Contact Sheriff Deputy Michael Martin at 434-985-8682 for more information.