Last updated: June 16. 2014 4:42PM - 410 Views
By Keith Strange

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After a couple of meetings, a local elected official said he’s found his place on a state board.

Surry County Commissioner R.F. “Buck” Golding, who was appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory to serve on the Governor’s Crime Commission earlier this year, was sworn into the position in March, and he say he’s found his area of interest.

Originally created by the state legislature in 1968, the Governor’s Crime Commission serves as the chief advisory body to the governor and the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety on crime and justice issues. With 44 members, the commission sets program priorities, reviews applications and makes recommendations to the governor for the state’s criminal justice and juvenile justice federal block grants.

For Golding, the two meetings he has attended has opened his eyes to the wide variety of efforts to combat crime in the state.

Golding noted the agenda for the most recent meeting of the Commission, held over two days in New Bern.

With agenda items ranging from a meeting on efforts by the state’s district attorneys to combat crime to initiatives to make the state’s schools safer, Golding says the group stays hopping.

“It’s a very varied agenda, and there are a lot of subcommittees,” he said. “From having been a bit of a rookie during the March meeting I have decided I want to work with the youth delinquency prevention committee.”

The reason, Golding said, can be boiled down to an old adage: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

“I’ve always been an advocate for prevention,” he said. “It’s a lot more productive than trying to rehabilitate someone after there’s a problem. It’s something that’s always interested me personally, and if we can prevent delinquency in the first place, we’re going to be saving a lot of money.

“Crime is a major thing for me because it costs all levels of government,” he added. “From law enforcement to the judicial system and the costs associated with incarceration the costs are extraordinary.”

Golding said shortly after he was sworn into service on the state board, he was given his choice of committees and the make-up of the youth delinquency prevention committee made it an obvious choice.

“We have lawyers, sheriffs and judges on the committee in addition to elected officials from around the state, so I think it will be a good group to work with,” he said.

At the moment, the committee is hearing presentations on proposed initiatives to combat the state’s delinquency rate.

“We’re listening to a lot of people who have some great ideas on how to do this prevention work, and at the end we’ll make a recommendation to the full commission on what programs or initiatives we think should get some budget money next year,” he said.

Keith Strange can be reached at 336-719-1929 or via Twitter @strangereporter.

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