Lakeland Mayor Howard Wiggs has named Mike Cooper the town’s “Citizen of the Yr.”
Cooper is the director of the Dream Middle on West fifth Road.
The mayor stated Cooper has made an actual distinction in his neighborhood due to the Dream Middle’s work with younger individuals, neighborhood clear up tasks and anti-gang efforts.
Lakeland Police Chief Larry Giddens believes Cooper’s efforts have been a contributing think about an enormous drop in gang violence that peaked in 2014. Shootings that concerned gangs are approach down.
“In 2014, 18 of these have been gang associated. This yr, one,” stated Giddens. The chief stated there is probably not any gang shootings this yr.
Cooper tried to downplay the award.
“Nicely to be trustworthy with you, it is just a little embarrassing. As a result of you recognize all of the work that goes into it. Not what I do however what everyone is doing,” he stated.
Dozens of volunteers take part in packages on the Dream Middle, and Cooper stated the overwhelming majority of funding is offered by Victory Church.