Members of local law enforcement joined the West Central Georgia Chapter of the Police Benevolent Association Saturday to support the Books Over Bullets program.
During a 10 a.m. news conference at Columbus State University’s Police Department, Columbus Police Lt. Joyce Dent-Fitzpatick presented Randalette Williams with 100 books for programs in eight establishments, five barbershops and three salons.
Dent-Fitzpatrick , president of the local PBA, said members donated materials not only for young people but parents who take their children to barbershops and salons. “We want children to read and put down the guns,” she said.
The lieutenant said officers also donated journals so children can start using their minds.
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Williams, an educator and philanthropist in Columbus, said the Books Over Bullets program grew out of Real Dads Read initiative.
With an up tick in crimes, Williams said the community needs to do everything it can to curtail the violence. People can sit down at a barbershop and have a conversation with young people.
“You encourage them to pick up a book and put down that gun,” she said. “Learn. Open up the book. It is a world of adventure inside these books. They can take themselves anywhere they want to go.”
Other than the Columbus Police Department and Columbus State University Police, the Muscogee Marshal’s Office, Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office and Muscogee County Prison took part in the event.