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Pastors on Patrol program works to stop youth violence in Pine Bluff



Pine Bluff, Arkansas – A recent Pine Bluff project aims to protect children and youth from violence by doing so everywhere from the pulpit to the hallways of the schools.

To lower the number of homicides in Pine Bluff and Jefferson County, the Pine Bluff Interested Citizens for Voter Registration (PBICVR) launched the Respect for Life Campaign in 1997.

“We think if we teach them using words and not a weapon to solve your difficulties, your problems, your disagreements, then it goes a long way,” Pastor Jesse Turner said.

The Pastors on Patrol Program is a component of the Respect for Life Campaign. Pastors are being sent to the Pine Bluff School District to stroll the halls and respond to student requests for guidance or prayer.

“We teach those lessons to make them better, not bitter, and when you do that, then students will respond. And sometimes you’re going to have some fall through the cracks, but if you don’t start and don’t try, they all will fall through the cracks,” Turner said.

In addition to working with the Woodson Center, Pastors on Patrol use the “PBICVR Pen to Pencil Program” curriculum to instruct students.

“Empower community-based leaders to promote solutions that reduce crime and violence, restore families, revitalize underserved communities, and assist in the creation of economic enterprise,” states the Woodson Center’s website.

A few of PBICVR’s offerings include food pantries, computer laboratories, tutoring, scholarships, and kid-focused community service projects.


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