Billy Brown

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Let’s Talk It Out founder Billy Brown (standing), during a Monday press conference, talked about increased efforts to deter gang activity in the county. Joining Brown were (from left, clockwise around table) Tina Brown, Sheriff Dennis Darby, Bobby Brown Andrew Farmer, Lakethia Smith, Rosemary McKinney and Stan Little.

Talk it Out founder credited for crime prevention, public input

By John Howell Sr.

Let’s Talk It Out founder Billy Brown during a Monday press conference announced additional emphasis on preventing gang violence and increasing outreach to communities with programs in libraries, community centers and churches.

Brown was joined by Let’s Talk It Out board members, including Hernando attorney Stan Little and Sheriff Dennis Darby, for the announcement at the Sardis courthouse.

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Let’s Talk It Out, Inc. was chartered in 2003 as a non-profit corporation to promote youth with positive influences and activities.

“We want to make sure young people have an opportunity not only to know about Christ but to … come up with a prevention program that will deter people from wanting to be involved with gangs,” Brown said.
“We’re actively trying to go out into communities; our goal is monthly activities,” the Let’s Talk It Out Founder said.

Let’s Talk It Out has sponsored an annual basketball camp that in early June attracted over 100 youths plus coach/counselor volunteers.

In 2009 the organization started “utilizing former gang members — people who had been there,” Brown said, to describe the lifestyle and pitfalls of gang affiliation.

“I see the age of kids in the criminal justice system getting younger and younger every year,” said Little. “When you see Sheriff Darby and when you see me, it’s too late,” the defense attorney continued.

Darby thanked Brown for the organization’s intervention efforts.

“Some of these gangsters can end up being our best citizens,” the sheriff said, with the right program of intervention.

Darby said that information conveyed to law enforcement since gang-related murders earlier this year is discouraging violent activity.

“The general public is giving information because of you,” Darby said, speaking to Brown and Let’s Talk It Out board members. “You’re stepping forward; you didn’t have to do this. We’ve got something started here, we look forward to working with you more.”

Brown said the work of Let’s Talk It Out will be helped with a $16,000 grant it will receive August 1 through the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Project Safe Neighborhood.

The organization founder said that the money will be used to become “more involved with churches” and with different events, including a youth conference, tentatively scheduled for March, 2013.