MASSENA - The villages Neighborhood Watch program is interested in siting a Boys and Girls Club in Massena. Police Chief Timmy J. Currier issued this statement Thursday afternoon:
Dave Ross, the regional director for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, has accepted an invitation from Massena Neighborhood Watch to give a presentation to the Massena community on the advantages of a club and on what would be required to initiate and maintain a club in Massena.
This is a fact-finding meeting, an opportunity for people in Massena to learn about a Boys and Girls Club, said Timmy J. Currier, Chief of Police. The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. It will be held in the top floor Board Room 30 of the Massena Town Hall.
The Massena Neighborhood Watch Program has spent a lot of time during the past year looking at various options to help the community deal with juvenile crime issues. Members have met with Massena Central School district officials to discuss expanding the CASPER program; they have met with Mayor James Hidy, who has been investigating bringing a YMCA to the area; and they have spoken with other youth programs and advocates on what programming is available and could be enhanced to help Massena deal with the juvenile issues we face. CASPER is a fantastic program, and the YMCA is a great idea as well, said Rhonda Rodriguez, public relations coordinator for Massena Neighborhood Watch. But successful Boys and Girls Clubs have been operating in Ogdensburg and Akwesasne for many years now. They offer sports and games, academic tutoring, computer labs, community outreach opportunities, character education, and even field trips, all from one location, she added. We would like to see Massena youth have similar benefits.
After school hours are the critical time frame when juvenile crime occurs. In most cases, this is because there is a lack of adequate supervision or quality alternatives available to our children, Chief Currier said. We know from our meetings with other clubs in the area, Ogdensburg and Akwesasne, that the Boys and Girls Club could prove to be a solution to those problems.
The Boys and Girls Club is an established national organization, so we wouldnt be re-creating the wheel if we started a club here, Rodriguez added. What we need now is people power – we need to show the regional and national staff that Massena is worthy of their support because the people of the community are on board. Attending Tuesdays meeting is critical to getting the process started.