LCSO adding new positions to Council on Status of Men, Boys

Leon Co. council on men and boys grant
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 7:37 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 5, 2022 at 7:39 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Through a federal grant from the US Department of Justice the Leon County Sheriff’s Office received a $1,495,663 for expansion of their “Council on the Status of Men and Boys” program.

The Leon County Sheriff’s Office was one of 52 communities nationwide to receive funding under the Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) Community Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative.

Royle King, executive director for the Council, said the money will go towards hiring four additional navigators to the program who will be overseen by King.

“We want to find the right people because the success we have is going to rely heavy on the team we build,” King said.

King said the hiring process for their four additional navigator positions will begin next week.

One position will be deemed the community navigator. King said they will be bringing in the service providing agencies to help the young males ages 16 through 24 that they work with and that search is already underway.

The program will also bring on a case manager who King said will be handling every situation differently.

The school-based navigator will work with the boys and young men in schools as the council has begun finalizing their partnership with the school district.

“This will allow us access to those monthly reports as it relates to when a student has been suspended or expelled,” King said. “They will be able to go into the schools if there is a problem and hopefully develop a deep relationship with the student and if needed connect them with services on the outside.”

The other position will be a life coach navigator who will take on a case management assessment role.

“We will assess all youths that we are working with and if needed connect with them a certain amount of times in a month,” King said.

Assistant Sheriff of Law Enforcement Operations, Argatha Gilmore, said the department believes the anatomy of a homicide project fit all the elements to secure that grant to help assist with the initiative.

Gilmore said the school based navigator will fill a critical role.

“The anatomy of a homicide project indicated that most of the offenders and some of the victims had been suspended or expelled from school,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore said connecting service providers, like schools, guidance counselors and therapists to the youth and their families will provide the wrap around service and care that the program is built around.

“We’re going to hire our navigators,” Gilmore said. “We’ve developed a navigation system that will help those who are impacted by what we have established and that are committing other crimes.”

Gilmore said the case managers will work with those who have already committed crimes.

“We’re trying to ensure that we are connecting service providers and then tracking and assisting in providing the services to them as well,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore said the young men and boys they service are brought to them through conditions, circumstances and other situations in their lives they need assistance with and the program looks to cut off “what is drawing them towards a life of crime.”

“We don’t want to turn our heads to those that are not in school and that’s when we have our advisory guidance body and our sub committees who will help us to channel that,” Gilmore said. “It’s all part of the structural navigation system, starting with a community based approach for the program.”

Gilmore added that the school-based and life coach mentorships will determine how they can help from a law enforcement perspective.

“The life coach will be more of a case manager to ensure that they are getting tailor made services to follow them if things are happening and they will be on call to assist,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore said that the sheriff’s office is the oversight party of the grant.