By K.P. Pelleran

Special to Herald Review

LANSING — Fight Crime: Invest Kids Michigan - a statewide crime prevention nonprofit organization led by more than 500 of Michigan’s best-known police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors and crime survivors — honored Osceola County Sheriff James Crawford, with Fight Crime’s “Crime Fighter Award” during the Sheriff’s Association summer training conference in Bellaire.

Clinton County Sheriff Wayne Kangas, state co-chairman of Fight Crime: Invest Kids Michigan, presented the award to Sheriff Crawford, saying, “preventing crime at the front end is in each communities’ best interest and in the best interest of our children. On behalf of the entire membership, I am honored to convey Fight Crime’s 2013 ‘Crime Fighter Award’ to Sheriff James Crawford for his outstanding support and leadership on behalf of crime prevention.”

Crawford has been an active member of Fight Crime’s statewide executive board for 13 years. He has participated in meetings and shared research with state and federal lawmakers over the years in regard to the benefits of investing public dollars in proven programs to help kids succeed in school and beyond. Programs include high-quality preschool, parent education through home visitation, quality after-school programs and child and family therapies that help kids get on track and stay on track to success and opportunity.

This year, the Michigan legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law an additional $65 million for Michigan’s state-funded preschool, the Great Start Readiness Program. It was the largest investment in high-quality preschool from all states in the United States. Fight Crime members salute that victory.

“Sheriff Crawford’s work has helped to set an agenda that is not only tough on crime, but one that is smart on crime. By getting at the front end through prevention programs, we can nip crime in the bud and reduce the negative consequences at the tail end that usually result in shattered lives and high costs associated with incarceration,” Kangas said.