Ferndale Police Step Up to Plate for Youth Assistance…

GallowayCollensTOPsunsetREVISEDFerndale Police Step Up to dinos02sidelogo3Plate for Youth Assistance w/ Money Won in National Anthem Contest

(Crystal A. Proxmire, July 14, 2015)

When Ferndale Detective Brendan Moore won a contest to sing the National Anthem at a Detroit Tigers Game last fall, he did not know exactly what his department would do with the $10,000 grant that came along with the song.

But need presented itself and Moore stepped up to the plate to make sure that Ferndale Youth Assistance would be able to carry on with the work they do guiding kids on a positive life path.

FYA is a collaborative effort to make sure families get support when kids need guidance. The cities served are those in the Ferndale School District – Ferndale, Oak Park, PleasantgardenfreshAD Ridge and Royal Oak Township. Funding comes from the parties involved, as well as from fundraisers like the Ferndale Blues Festival.

The City of Ferndale has given various amounts over the years, including some years where they did not donate. In the past the city had contributed up to $7,000, and in recent years the contribution has been $4,000 from the drug forfeiture fund.

FYA has suffered cutbacks as Royal Oak Township and Oak Park ceased being able to contribute.  Ferndale Schools shouldered $10,000 a year plus the cost of housing the program office and supporting office staff.  This year in the midst of restructuring and transitioning to new leadership, the District cut back their financial contribution but committed to continuing to provide space and onsite support for the program.

To offset the shortfall this year City Council approved increasing the drug forfeiture fund contribution to $6,000, plus an additional $4,000 of the grant that came from the contest.

Councilperson Mike Lennon called the funding a “no brainer.”  Councilperson Melanie Piana clarified that this was intended tobaby01 be a one-time increase.

Councilperson Dan Martin, who also sits on the FYA Board, explained the benefits of the program to council on Monday. “FYA… is a program whose focus is to support children, youth and their families as a whole in order to reduce delinquency, any kind of abuse, neglect, before these kids who may be in trouble devolving into a situation that’s maybe even worse. It’s a great intervention program.”

Detective Moore remembers working with Youth Assistance back when he was a juvenile resource officer 15 years ago. “It was good for the kids, helped keep their record clean and set them straight,” he said. “If a kid got in trouble I would talk to them, talk to their parents, and see if t934_8600_Gen-Online_Bannershey would be interested in working with Youth Assistance. We’d figure out what things they need to work on, what goals they want to set. Like maybe do x amount of community service, do better at school, get better attendance. The parents had to agree and they’d get counseling to help them get to their goals. They have a lot of programs and services, but as police we use YA at the point when a kid finds themselves in trouble where we’re called.”

Moore said that while he approves of the donation, the credit goes to the entire department.  “It’s their money. The grant from the contest goes to the department.  They asked me, but it’s really up to them.  I am glad it’s going to something we all believe in.”

Police Chief Timothy Collins enthusiastically supports FYA.  “As you know, FPD works with FYA in several different ways,” he said. “The most important being the relationship we have with our School Resource Officer and the FYA Rep.  Officer Danielson (SRO) works closely with FYA lisa schmidt lawwhen we have a student who has legal issues (minor violations of the law) school issues (violations of school rules or policies) or family issues (which can be many different things from abuse, neglect, assistance in many ways).  FYA and the FPD work together to get students back on track without being put into the system if at all possible.  Our way of impacting the so called school to prison pipeline.”

Craig Covey, Chairperson of Ferndale Youth Assistance was grateful that the police stepped in.  “Detective Moore and Chief Collins are heroes for our kids.  FYA is more than 50 years old and we are glad we can keep going.”

For more information on Ferndale Youth Assistance go to http://ferndaleya.org/.

NOTE: This story has been updated to include quotes from Chief Collins and Craig Covey.  Also an earlier version stated that Ferndale Pub Crawl benefits Ferndale Youth Assistance.  That was an error and has been removed.

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