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LPD works with community for Badges and Barbers program

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LYNCHBURG (WSLS 10) - The Lynchburg Police Department reaches out to connect with the community in hopes of lowering crime rates and strengthening relationships.

Lynchburg's Badges and Barbers program works with teens to teach them marketable skills and help them become productive citizens.

Christopher Williams, the owner of Williams Barbershop, has opened his shop to prevent the youth from going down the wrong path and ending up behind bars.

"It's hard to make it once you're labeled," Williams said.

He's happy to be able to allow high school students in his shop so they can learn how to cut hair.

"Cutting hair, is like, I'd like to do that one day," Tariq McDaniel, a student in the Badges and Barber program.

The program started with the hopes of keeping teenagers out of trouble, especially during the summer months when school is out.

Tariq's mentor, Barber Jerry Mason, said he teaches Tariq customer service skills every week.

"It's awesome, you get to see in their eyes they want to learn, it's not like somebody is making them do it," Mason said.

The Badges and Barbers program started last year, four barbershops and about 10 kids participated in the program.

'The youth needs guidance at home they have it but some of them have single parent homes with not father figure, so a barbershop, you got guidance you got mentors," Samuel Snead, one organizer said.

Lynchburg Police also participate in the program.

They teach life skills, like being on time and maintaining self control.

"It's always been our goal to engage the community especially our youth in the community to give them something extra to do during the summers," Sergeant Luke Bryan with LPD said.