MAKING CRIME PAY ON GOLF COURSE
On Tuesday, July 10, the Capital Area’s Junior Golf Alliance of New York State was awarded a “Golfer’s-sized check” for $13,050, awarded from funds of the “Making Crime Pay” initiative from the Albany County District Attorney’s office.
The Junior Golf Alliance is running the summer program, “Hook A Kid On Golf,” for inner-city youth. The grant will be used to keep hundreds of kids off the streets in safe, healthy and educational programming this summer.
Under the JGA, both “Hook a Kid on Golf” and “The First Tee” scholastic program will expand in Albany. The programs will be offered this summer at Capital Hills @ Albany and at the GWU Center at the former YMCA on Washington Avenue. They are the same programs currently in use in several Albany schools.
“Making Crime Pay” is a program designed to deter crime by depriving criminals of the profits and proceeds of their illegal activities and then using those ill-gotten gains to support law enforcement, prevention, education and public safety initiatives throughout the county, according to D.A. David Soares.
There was additional support from NYSUT.
Check out the story on Fox 23 News.
Soares was joined Tuesday by Frank Ciarlo, President of the Junior Golf Alliance and CapitalAreaGolf.com; Cathy Corbo, President of the Albany Public School Teachers Association; Rev. Edward Smart, Jr., Pastor of the AME Israel Church and Executive Director of the GWU Center; Mark Walsh of the Troy Teachers’ Union and Troy’s neighboring “Hook A Kid On Golf” and a JGA board member; Tracie Warner, the executive director of the NENY PGA and VP of the JGA; and Christopher Ellis, Chairperson of the George Biddle Kelley Education Foundation and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha.
“I am pleased to announce this collaborative effort to provide worthy activities for young people,” Soares said. “These programs have a track record of success in bringing the game of golf to kids, while providing guidance and mentoring. I want to thank Frank Ciarlo for all his work with the Junior Golf Alliance, Cathy Corbo and Rev. Smart for working with my office to provide activities for youngsters. These programs will provide facilities and educational programs designed to promote character development and values through golf.”
A COMMUNITY EFFORT
“I am pleased that District Attorney Soares has offered support to the JGA as we continue our efforts to bring the game of golf to kids in Albany,” said Ciarlo. “It is an exciting new opportunity for area young people to learn the game with their friends and to share this wonderful game.”
“Working with the Junior Golf Alliance of New York, District Attorney David Soares, our local teachers and the mentors from Alpha Phi Alpha, we will be able to give at-risk youth in Albany County a new dimension in athletic and educational opportunities that will guide them toward success in school and life,” said Rev. Smart.
His church hosts a day camp for children in need at the GWU Center at the former YMCA on Washington Avenue. “By giving these youngsters a new sports experience taught by golf professionals and trained teachers, we are adding a mentoring component to further demonstrate the connection between education, sportsmanship and being a good citizen.”
In addition to the summer programs, the JGA has joined with the Northeastern New York PGA Section, NYSUT and “Hook a Kid on Golf” leaders to bring “The First Tee” to schools in the Capital Area.
Corbo said gym teachers are uniquely qualified to seamlessly integrate the program into their day-to-day lesson objectives. They know how to teach the motor skills golf requires and many already teach character and healthy habits as part of their curriculum. This spring, Albany physical education teachers were able to share “The First Tee” introduction to golf and life’s values with children in two elementary schools.
“NYSUT is proud to partner with the Junior Golf Alliance and bring this program to Albany schools and other school districts in the capital area,” she said. “First Tee engages student in a structured golf curriculum that promotes character development within a physical education setting.
“By working with the JGA, we are reaching kids in a new and exciting way. This is a program we can all get behind. Golf is a wonderful game and the kids have really embraced the ‘First Tee’ program in Albany.”
“The George Biddle Kelley Education Foundation and Capital Regional Chapters of Alpha Phi Alpha are pleased to join District Attorney Soares and the Junior Golf Alliance in this initiative,” said Christopher Ellis, Chairman of the George Biddle Kelley Education Foundation and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
“We believe in giving back to the community and making life better for young people, especially here in Albany. We just completed our business focused mentorship program, dubbed Alpha Esquires, and our members are excited to have the opportunity to introduce the Esquires to golf which is a critical component to business success. We are looking forward to pairing our members with youngsters for this exciting initiative.”
Tracie Warner, Executive Director of the NENY PGA and VP of the Junior Golf Alliance, is pleased with the interest from the local physical education teachers willing to “pilot” the golf-in-schools program: “It is vital for the longevity and success of the sport to at least have an introduction to the game at an early age,” she said.
“There are numerous sporting activities that golf competes with so making elementary kids aware of the game and learning it in a fun environment is key. We envision our role in this program to help in the expertise for any of the physical education teachers who wish to take advantage of local PGA Professionals to come into the schools at the start of their golf unit to bring in a PGA Professional.”
MAKING CRIME PAY
“Making Crime Pay” is a program in the DA’s Office that is designed to deter crime by depriving criminals of the profits and proceeds of their illegal activities and then uses those ill-gotten gains to support law enforcement and public safety initiatives throughout the county.
Through this program, assets are seized from criminals and used to help close the gap and meet the serious needs of some of areas in the community that are most in need. Soares hopes that this positive and aggressive use of asset forfeiture funds will make a significant impact on public and quality of life for citizens in Albany County.
Other initiatives funded through the “Making Crime Pay” program include:
-Purchasing Communication Radio upgrades, Patrol Rifles, and software upgrade to employ Live Scan inkless electronic fingerprinting as part of criminal background checks for Coeymans Police Department;
-Purchasing Guns, Plate Readers and other crime fighting technologies for local law enforcement agencies;
-OffenderWatch for every jurisdiction in Albany County;
-Guns for Altamont and Cohoes Police Departments;
-KevlsaVests for Coeymans and Green Island Police Departments;
-Aircards and an undercover vehicle for Cohoes Police Department;
-K-9 Bullet Proof Vests for New York State Police Service Canines;
-In-car Cameras for Cohoes Police Department;
-Plate Reader and Evidence Tracking System for Menands Police Department;
-Providing two way radios and flash lights to support Neighborhood Walk and Watch programs in Cohoes, Delmar, Watervliet, Van Schaick Island, and the City of Albany;
-Scholarships for State and Local Police for specialized training;
-The “Bring it to the Courts” Basketball League and other ENOUGH supported youth crime prevention initiatives.
-Continuing education for area Police Officers and prosecutors;
-Nearly 1,000 back-packs filled with school supplies and, working with the local teachers union, APSTA, delivering them to low income families across Albany County.
The DA’s Office is committed to ensuring that crime never pays for those involved in illegal activities, however, we will take those resources that we can secure from criminals and use them to fund anti-crime activities that take place throughout Albany County, Soares said.