Box 21, Folder 35, Document 20

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Fis ght Po Poverty ty, Slum Areas
te Ease Crime--McGovern


The new director of the re-
vised Metropolitan Atlanta Com-
mission on Crime and Juvenile
Delinquency has called on At-
lantans to help alleviate pov-
erty and slum conditions which
he said are at the root of the
city's crime problem.

James L. McGovern, an FBI
veteran who was named to head
the commission in January, said
that any crime fighting efforts
are futile unless these condi-
tions are altered.

He made his remarks at a
meeting of the Atlanta Kiwanis
.Club which he urged to join
with other civic groups to help
provide recreational facilities in
areas of the city where riots
occurred last summer.

Mr. McGovern reported that
21 play lots were erected in

deprived areas of the city after |

the outbreaks last year but that
the Atlanta Parks Department
does not have a budget large
enough to maintain and i improve

HE SAID the recreational
areas were built with the help
of federal funds, but the funds
are not available this year.

The commission director cited

| Sears Roebuck for donating four
portable swimming pools for the
areas and urged the Kiwanians
to consider financing the filter-
ing system for at least one of
the pools as a project.

“The crime problem is a por-
trait of a failure on the part of
society,” Mr. McGovern said,
“Tt breeds not in a vacuum but
in a cess pool—poverty, the lack

of opportunity, pane health and:
so forth,””

“Remove these conditions,” he
said, “and you will reduce
crime.” .

MR. McGOVERN said he
spent 26 years with the FBI, but
that only recently, after becom-
ing director of the crime com-
mission, did he really become
fully aware of the importance
of preventive measures in fight-
ing crime.

He lauded the work of the par-
ent of the Metropolitan Commis-
sion, the Atlanta Crime Com-
mission, which he said delivered
the same conclusions as the
President's Commission on
Crime and Delinquency several
months before the national study
group made its report.

He also urged the Kiwanians,
almost 100 percent employers, to
reconsider hiring policies and
not arbitrarily refuse to employ
a man who has a criminal rec-

He said they and other citi-
zens could do much to combat
crime individually through small!
efforts such as locking automo,
biles, doors, reporting offenses '
to police and masing themselves |
available to police as witnesses!
when needed.

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