Big Brothers, Big Sisters coming to Natchitoches
Mentoring program office will be 3rd of its kind in Louisiana
NATCHITOCHES, La. (KSLA) — The City of Natchitoches soon will have a branch of Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
Mayor Ronnie Williams Jr. brought news of the mentoring program’s third office of its kind in Louisiana when he delivered his State of the City address on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
The purpose of the address was to review the past year and inform citizens of the city’s policy agenda for the coming year.
His roughly half-hour talk the evening highlighted other youth initiatives and crime reduction efforts ranging from fighting blight to improving technology.
“My number one goal is to maintain a sense of safety for our residents and visitors alike,” Williams said, while at the same time noting that “crime reduction is best met when every level of government and the community are working harmoniously.”
Among other things, the mayor highlighted police pay and noted that the city:
- used $500,000 to install technology with artificial intelligence capabilities in many of the city’s high-crime areas. “This new technology gives us real-time information whenever a crime is committed.”
- beefed up security in the public parking lot downtown during Christmas. He encouraged owners of private parking spaces to hire security during special events held throughout the year.
- began Chief Moments, videos in which the police chief discusses ongoing police initiatives, including community policing efforts and the community engagement committee.
Williams said it’s equally important to arm youths with the qualities necessary to contribute to a better society.
That’s why the city worked with others in the community to make the Boys and Girls Club a reality again. The mayor’s youth council was re-established. And Williams is proud of the Angel Fund, which allows youths from low-income families to participate in city-sponsored sports for free.
“Not only has the city increased their crime fighting efforts under my watch, but we have increased our beautification efforts as well. Throughout the first half of 2022, city employees spent hours picking up litter in various parts of the city.”
OTHER HIGH POINTS
- The city has begun recognizing the cleanest streets
- Enforcement of the junk car ordinance will resume
- The city’s business development process will be streamlined before the end of the first quarter
- Weather permitting, the city will start paving more streets next week
- Speaking of the weather, work on the Jefferson Street sinkhole has been delayed until Feb. 6
- A swimming pool is in the design phase
- The city’s first dog park is in the works
- Natchitoches must increase its water production capacity
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