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|Moore touts community meeting|
Police juror Pat Moore has called on local church and community leaders to join public officials in their efforts to better the area.
During Monday's regular police jury meeting, Moore said an upcoming conference with local church and community leaders will be held 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, at the Monroe Civic Center.
Local officials and church and community leaders are expected to review plans to improve the image of Ouachita Parish, deter criminal activity and promote economic development.
"We encourage all partners to meet with us because we cannot solve all our problems by ourselves," Moore said. "Our hands are tied. There's only so much we can do as government, so we need to get everyone involved."
She said some neighborhoods are suffering from high crime rates and a poor image, which are concerns that will continue to hamper economic development and lower the quality of life for citizens.
She hopes pastors and church and community leaders will agree to work in their respective areas to improve the image of their communities.
Local law enforcement agencies also are on board and will assist with any crime reduction activities the group wants to pursue.
Moore also hopes governmental leaders and the community will work together to address the litter issue in Ouachita Parish.
She says the police jury must work with other local governmental bodies, churches, organizations, schools, businesses and groups such as Keep Ouachita Parish Beautiful to develop an initiative to rid the parish of its litter problem.
The litter issue became a top priority for several local officials after a March 2007 visit by Mark Sweeney of Atlanta's Competitive Strategies Group.
Sweeney's firm was hired to do a marketing study of the region to give public officials a better understanding of the area's strengths and weaknesses. The group also was in charge of detailing what type of industry northeastern Louisiana officials should target for relocation to the area.
Sweeney said his trip to Ouachita Parish was "one of the trashier visits I've had in all of my visits."