July 29: Detroit Interim Police Chief Ralph L. Godbee Supports Call to Action for Community Support

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Call to Action to Train More Men to be “MADE Men” -- Department of Justice, Detroit Police Department, Detroit Public Schools and Wayne Mediation Join Forces with MADE Men

When volunteers James Booker, Kenneth Grimes, Curtis Cartwright and George Stewart signed up to be “MADE (Men Affirming Discipline and Education) Men” last summer, they signed onto a mission not for the faint of heart. Trained to act as volunteer patrols around Detroit Public Schools, these men became a consistent symbol of stability for students, teachers, principals and residents in the area of the schools they patrolled, but they also intervened and prevented serious crimes from taking place. A few examples include a knifing incident where a middle school student was trying to protect herself from a group of adults; a gang initiation where a young student innocently waiting for the bus was being targeted for a beating; and apprehending a young person with a shot gun outside a school. Upwards of 75 volunteer men performed heroic efforts and answered the call at the beginning of the MADE Men initiative in July of 2009, which was launched in response to the Cody Ninth Grade Academy Bus Stop Shooting. The need for more men is great and the call to action takes place July 29. MADE Men Founder Bishop Edgar Vann said, “Many said we wouldn’t make it through our first year. With all the talk about governance of the schools, one thing becomes abundantly clear, if kids cannot safely travel to and from school, and feel safe once they are inside, then governance is a moot argument. Ralph Godbee was with us last year training our volunteer men, and we are eternally grateful for his and others support of this program.”

On Thursday, July 29 at 10am, Bishop Vann will stand with several MADE Men, Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee, who trained the volunteer men last summer; Detroit Public Schools Police Chief Roderick Grimes and DPS Regional Superintendent Derrick Coleman, will speak about conflict resolution programs in Detroit Public Schools; ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge William Temple and Assistant U.S. Attorney John O’Brien, Chief of the newly formed Violent and Organized Crime Unit, will speak about DOJ programs for youth; Susan Butterwick, J.D., Consulting Program Director for Wayne Mediation Center's Truancy Prevention Mediation Program and member of DPS "Attendance Is Everyone's Business" collaborative.

What:    Call to Action for MADE Men “Keeping Kids Safe Anniversary Press Conference of MADE Men” ~ A non-profit, 501 (c)(3) volunteer run organization that is part of Vanguard Community Development Corporation

Where:    Second Ebenezer Church ~ 14601 Dequindre, just south of McNichols in Detroit. Use South side entrance. Press Conference will take place in the Second Floor Conference Center.

When:    Thursday, July 29 ~ 10am-11am

Why:    To help prevent violence during the school year through volunteeer patrols working in tandem with law enforcement, mediators and educators. Toinform the community about the work of MADE Men, and to issue plans for growth and sustainability. A call to action for more volunteers to patrol specific schools throughout the city including Brenda Scott Middle School, Cody High School and others during the 2010-2011 school year will take place. To demonstrate how the community is working in tandem with law enforcement to keep kids safe.

Who:    Several MADE Men volunteers, Bishop Edgar Vann and other Faith Based Leaders; Detroit Chief of Police Ralph Godbee; Detroit Public Schools Chief of Police Roderick Grimes; Assistant U.S. Attorney John O’Brien – Chief of the newly organized Violent and Organized Crime Unit; ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge William Temple; and Wayne Mediation Truancy Prevention Consultant for the DPS Collaborative Program “Attendance is Everyone’s Business,” Susan Butterwick. Detroit Public Schools Regional Superintendent, Derrick Coleman, will speak about the conflict resolution programs at Detroit Public Schools.

The Goodwin Co. (http://www.goodwinconsulting.us) donated organizational and public relations services to MADE Men. Adult men interested in volunteering for MADE Men patrols should contact James Booker at 313.872.7831.

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Peggy K. Goodwin