Crime reduction efforts in Graham took a big step forward Thursday morning as the city council appointed four members to a committee devoted to the issue. 

Called Community Leaders Against Crime (CLAC), the committee will be chaired by incoming Mayor Jack Graham and will have City Council representative Pam Scott, City Manager David Casteel and Police Chief Tony Widner on board to represent the city’s elected leadership and law enforcement agencies. 

Sometimes referred to as a “task force,” the committee would bring together and educate leaders from all branches of the area’s law enforcement, judicial system, city administration, school district and the community to coordinate efforts through the entire process, from arrest and investigation to prosecution.

“We’re setting up some guidelines about the things that we want to address,” said Graham Police Chief Tony Widner. “I think the most positive note is that everyone that is part of the system is really looking forward to seeing what we can do better. It’s been real positive as far as everybody’s input. Everybody is willing to participate, which is always a big step, and I don’t think we’ll see anything but positive results.”

City council members have been asking for the initiation of some sort of program to help reduce crime in the city since last summer, when an upswing in criminal activity was noticed, Graham said. 

Read the entire story in Saturday's Graham Leader.