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LeadAR Grad Fights Crime

by Noah Washburn - June 5, 2017

LeadAR graduate Brad Harrison from Blytheville completed his leadership project recently - the Blytheville Crime Stoppers.

“The city of Blytheville is plagued with a crime issue, damaging the city’s economy on every essential level,” said Harrison, who is the President/CEO of the Mississippi County Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Brad Harrison

A crime stopper program allows anonymous tips to law enforcement by way of phone, website, app, or email. Should a tip lead to an arrest, the tipster becomes eligible for a cash reward. The program also raises awareness in news articles and social media about crimes that might be resolved with the help of tipsters.

Harrison gained this idea from a Chamber of Commerce strategic planning session. Once selected for Extension's LeadAR program, he pursed Blytheville Crime Stoppers as his leadership project. Each LeadAR participant identifies a community service goal or project which they provide leadership in accomplishing within the two-year class period. LeadAR is developing community leaders, with similar projects occurring across the state.

Harrison brought together the Greater Blytheville Chamber of Commerce and Blytheville Unlimited to establish the Crime Stopper program as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The newly formed board of directors elected Harrison as the first president of the program. The board is soliciting local businesses for funding to support and sustain the program. Harrison hopes this project becomes another tool for the Blytheville Police Department and its citizens to reduce crime.

Blytheville Crime Stoppers program went live May 1st, a few weeks after Harrison and his Class 17 friends graduated from the leadership program.

LeadAR, the Arkansas Agricultural and Rural Leadership Program, is a program of the Community and Economic Development Unit at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service. For more information about the leadership program or Harrison’s program, contact Noah Washburn at nwashburn@uaex.edu or go online to www.uaex.edu/leadAR.

 

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