VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - The number of drug-related tips coming into the Valdosta Police department is on the rise.
While that may sound scary, the Valdosta Police Chief said it's a good thing.
A brick building sits on the corner of Jane Street, right next to the Ora Lee West Housing Complex.
"We have visible presence. I go door to door, some other people are talking with these residents," said Rev. Martin, Citizens Against Violence organizer.
The building is the home to the Citizens Against Violence organization. The group is hitting the ground with community policing in hopes of lowering crime in Valdosta.
It opened its doors in August of 2016.
"We're at least helping people who want help and need help," said Martin.
Help comes in the form of job referrals, counseling, and a place for kids to get together.
It's Community policing the Valdosta police department is on board with.
"When you meet people face to face I think they're more likely to call in and give tips," explained Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress.
And that's exactly what officers say they're seeing.
Aggravated assaults across the city as a whole are down. However, the number of drug related tips coming in to the department is on the rise.
Chief Childress said getting in more tips is good for the department.
"It's a huge role in getting people to be willing to provide us information," Childress explained.
He believes it's the Citizens Against Violence organizers making a difference.
"What he's doing is vital," urged Childress, "He's creating a bridge between the police department and the community."
The work is far from over, but he says at least they're on the right track.
"Community policing is going to be a 24/7 commitment by the community and by law enforcement," said Childress.
The Citizens Against Violence organizers will be hosting a youth conference this weekend at the Valdosta-Lowndes County parks and recreation building on North Forrest Street.
It will begin at 9 a.m. Friday and 9:30 a.m. Saturday.
To register, call 229-460-7476 or 229-292-8979