Sept. 15, 2016

Minutes of the September 15, 2016
Meeting of the Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Les Greer at 12:15PM. Matt Head offered the invocation and afterwards Tommy Blankenship led the club in song and the pledge. Tom Martenstein welcomed members’ guests and visiting Rotarians.
Announcements: Les Greer made the following announcements:
• The board will meet today after the meeting.
• A meeting of the Children’s Foundation Board will take place on Sept. 22.
• A $4,500 District Grant Award has been received and will go towards the refurbishment of an inner city park.
• Mark your calendars for the Rotary Gala to be held on Wednesday, Oct. 5, at Dauphins.
Program: Chief James Barber, MPD.
Rick Harvey introduced Chief Barber who brought the club up to date on his department’s efforts at offering first time offenders a second chance. He explained that careful surveillance pinpoints a site with rampant illegal drug sales and his department works to identify the participants. Those with criminal records will be prosecuted but those who have never been in trouble are offered a space in a SCORE Program which offers them a second chance.
Working with community leaders and educators, these individuals are encouraged to complete their educations and learn job skills and basic responisbilty for themselves and their children. Chief Barber shared videos of several participants who have done just that. Crime in the neighborhood has dropped dramatically, he added.
Chief Barber told his audience that it is vital that his officers be trained to see themselves from the average citizen’s perspective living within a high crime area. He said it is this type of training that can prevent misunderstandings which can escalate to some of the horrific rioting that has taken place in major cities of late.
After answering a number of questions, Les Greer thanked Chief Barber for speaking to the club and said that in his honor a donation has been made to Rotary International Foundation.
The meeting adjourned at 1:00 PM
Tom McGehee