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City of Charleston awarded for programs that help steer kids awa - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

City of Charleston awarded for programs that help steer kids away from crime

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is honoring Charleston for three programs officials say has made the city safer.

Charleston is one of five cities in the United States that received the Outstanding Achievement Livability Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors last month.

"Making our community safer by making it a safer place, Mayor Joe Riley said an afternoon press conference.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors recognized three programs run by the city.

They are Camp Hope, a summer camp for under served children, Friday Night Lights, which allows kids and their family members to enjoy safe activities at city parks and the Turning Leaf program that helps incarcerated parents return to the community after their release from jail.

"This award is all about these kids that you see in front, that's why we do it, Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said. "The only way we're going to stop this cycle of violence that continues to escalate in our communities is to bring families and children together."

The chief says it's important to reach them at a young age before they make bad decisions that could cost them later on in life.

"That's the only way we're going to change their mindset and that's really what we've got to do is change their mindset,
Mullen said. "It's becoming more and more critical in my view for us to engage in these programs and I know some people say they're just feel good programs. Well, I disagree with that."

Mayor Riley also announced a local business is donating $50,000 to help the three programs.

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