Off the streetJuvenile crime down during ball program

Published 11:21 am Monday, August 20, 2012

Juvenile arrests this summer increased this year for the first time since 2009 but declined during the city’s annual street ball program.

Vicksburg police arrested 70 juveniles in May and June, Chief Walter Armstrong said, but only 19 arrests came during an 18-day program that took youths off the streets and put them in the gym.

“The more constructive situations we can get our youth involved in, the less chance they will be committing mischief,” Armstrong said.

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Privately run programs also help keep youths busy during summer vacation, said Ernest Galloway, who helps run the Fuzzy Johnson baseball league.

“We’re giving kids an opportunity to do something positive in the summer,” he said.