orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

December 12, 2013

Working together for the community

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Members of organizations from CASA, counseling centers and law enforcement met Tuesday morning to  work together for a strategic plan required to receive Criminal Justice Division (CJD) grant funds.

“We must have a Community Plan to get the funds,” South East Texas Regional Planning Commission (SETRPC) Homeland Security and Emergency Management Planning Division Director Sue Landry said. “While it is required to attend the meeting to receive the funds, the ultimate goal is for the plan to be useful.”

The last Community Plan was in 2010.

“The community has changed since then,” Landry said.

There is a downward trend since 2006 in the CJD funding.

“We home to increase the amount of funding to help with what the county needs to have services provided to the citizens,” SETRPC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Planning Division Kaylan Arendale said.

The meeting is one of three held. The group met with Hardin County last week and plans to meet with Jefferson County at 10 a.m. Wednesday, 2210 Eastex Freeway, Beaumont.

“We want to find the specific needs for the communities,”  Arendale said.

The regions is anticipating receiving Criminal Justice Division grant funds and the information gathered from the meetings will outline actions, services and projects the funds need to target.

The approximately 25 people attending broke into four groups to help discuss priorities for the county as well as solutions to gaps in services before presenting the suggestions to SETRPC. The four areas addressed were Law Enforcement, Juvenile Justice, Victim Services, and Substance Abuse/Mental Health.

The Strategic Plan is due to the Criminal Justice Division by March 3, 2014.