TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - The City of Toledo is committing $60,000 for a year-long late-night basketball program with the hope of late night hoops driving down the amount of late night crime being committed.
The program will target people between 18 and 24 years old, with pick-up games being offered between 9 p.m. and 1 .a.m., 7 days a week, rotating between the East Toledo Family Center, the Believe Center, the Zablocki Center and the Frederick Douglas Center.
Off-duty officers are providing security, and the hope is the safe zones will become popular places for people to hang out during a time when youth crime in common.
"There have been positive things in a lot of different areas in a lot of different cities. It has had the results of reducing the crime rate in these areas and the hope is it has that impact here," said Jan Scotland with Toledo Community Recreation. "
"One thing about young people, they have a lot of energy. They're going to do something, so if we don't create something positive for them to do then they're going to do something negative and we'll be all upset about it," said Toledo Mayor Mike Bell.
Scotland said the goal is once people show up to play, they will have the ability to connect those young people to other positive activities and programs.