Ministers Against Crime (MAC) is a community-based program that is non-denominational in nature. The original program enlisted ministerial volunteers from inner city neighborhoods riddled with crime. The ministers attended a special twelve-week police academy designed specifically to suit their needs.
On September 21, 1993, an in-depth course was presented at the police academy and 27 ministers graduated on December 14, 1993. A second class was later conducted with 17 graduates. The ministers were able to reveal to the police department the sensitivities of many within their congregation who might otherwise not wish to speak with an officer. Additionally, when any police-related incident of concern occurred within the community, the police department could have factual information relayed back to the neighborhoods within a matter of hours using the networks established by the ministers.
Although successful, the program did not reach full fruition until May 1996, at which time 12 members of the original Ministers Police Academy formed Ministers Against Crime (MAC). The goals of the program include:
- Assist police in non-traditional roles
- Provide calm in crisis situations to prevent an escalation to violence
- Assist in domestic situations where a minister is requested or needed
- Patrol and report crime in areas the police cannot easily obtain information
- Offer support to victims
Ministers Against Crime was formulated similar to the successful Citizens on Patrol concept. Ministers were provided identification cards, portable radios, and distinctive clothing to identify their relationship with the program. Police officers were informed that MAC was to be a welcomed presence at any police scene within the parameters established by the program.
The Ministers Against Crime Value Based Initiative is a natural progression of the work done so far within the community. One church is established in the center of the target area to serve as a training and resource base. The program is also expanding to areas in need that are not currently served with the establishment of a satellite center and an expansion to 32 members. Both centers are in neighborhood churches. Fort Worth is spread out over 315 square miles in two counties and there is a limited public transportation system, so training and assistance centers in the heart of neighborhoods is vital.
Ministers Against Crime is a life-affirming program within a vibrant community and continues to evolve.