For many years, Valdosta neighborhoods have been taking part in the city's "Weed and Seed" program.
Chief Frank Simons of the Valdosta Police Department says, "The concept of Weed and Seed of course is to weed out anything that is negative and do seed in those things which are positive. We're at the point now where as the U.S. Attorney's Office put it, graduated."
The program was supported through national grants, which the city had qualified for because it had several areas which needed improvement. Because Valdosta has improved, it will no longer receive the federal support.
Simons says, "The next step for us is to remember those positive lessons we learned and follow those lessons."
While the Weed and Seed program may be done in the city of Valdosta, Chief Simons says almost every neighborhood benefited from the program. Plus, communications between the police and citizens has been greatly improved.
Simons says, "We got the chance to interact with our citizens in the Weed and Seed areas and we got a good opportunity for police and citizens to know each other and remove some myths and concerns the citizens may have had about their Police Department."
Chief Simons says graduating from the Weed and Seed program may be seen as a mixed blessing, but he says the good work is not finished even though the program is.