Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552




CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., May 3, 2002 - Southeast Missouri State University, Southeast Missouri Weed and Seed, Inc., the Department of Criminal Justice and the Regional Community Policing Institute present the Great Plains Regional Weed and Seed Conference May 15-17 at the University.

"This three-day networking conference is designed to enhance the understanding of the Weed and Seed Strategy and to increase the participants' knowledge in acquiring and managing resources," said Lisa Lane, executive director of Southeast Missouri Weed and Seed.

The Weed and Seed initiative is a grass-roots program designed to "weed out" crime and help communities in solving their problems through renewal efforts. It is a two-pronged approach to fighting drugs. The program "weeds" the neighborhood of criminal offenders engaged in drug-related crimes through increased visibility and community policing efforts. The "seeding" program encourages increased community involvement through housing, employment and other programs that deter criminal activity in the area.

Southeast Missouri Weed and Seed has five "Recognized Weed and Seed Sites." They include: Cape Girardeau; Sikeston, Mo.; Caruthersville, Mo.; Charleston, Mo.; and Poplar Bluff, Mo. The Weed and Seed initiative has four components: aggressive law enforcement to address crime and apprehend drug dealers; community policing; community stabilization; and community renewal. Community renewal includes development of crime prevention programs according to local needs.

"It is very important to hold this conference and for Weed and Seed sites and partners to get a chance to work together because if Missouri targets crime, the crime will most likely be displaced to another area. By working with our partners, we can bring more to the table to meet the area's needs as a whole and fight such issues as displacement," said Lane. "Our partners include the states of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa."

A keynote luncheon will be held May 16 at noon in the University Center's Grand Ballroom. The keynote speaker will be Tracy Henke, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Justice Programs. A former assistant to Senators Bond and Danforth, Henke, a native of Moscow Mills, Mo., was appointed by Attorney General Ashcroft last June.

The Great Plains Regional Weed and Seed Conference is open to all Weed and Seed sites and their partners as well as safe haven staff and administrators; city government; federal, state and local law enforcement; United States attorney personnel; juvenile justice programs; nonprofit and community-based organizations; social service agencies; community development organizations; youth organizations; housing organizations; schools; religious organizations; and the public housing authority.

For more information on the Great Plains Regional Weed and Seed Conference, please call the Southeast Missouri Weed and Seed Office at (573) 986-6415.


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For more information contact the Director of the News Bureau, Ann Hayes, (573) 651-2552.