A number of Nova Scotians were recognized today, April 2, for their efforts to prevent crime and make communities safer. Minister of Justice and Attorney General Cecil Clarke presented the inaugural Justice Minister’s Award for Leadership in Crime Prevention at a crime symposium in Halifax. Awards were presented in six categories including individual, youth, community group or organization, community policing, media and business community. Forty-three nominations were received. “The response to the awards demonstrates just how committed Nova Scotians are to preventing crime and promoting safety in their communities,” said Mr. Clarke. “The strategy to prevent and reduce crime, Time to Fight Crime Together, is made easier because of the dedication and enthusiasm we see in the winners, and all those people who were nominated.” The individual award was presented to Paula Marshall of the Mi’Kmaw Legal Support Network in Eskasoni. She took the network from a pilot project to a provincewide multi-service legal support program for Aboriginal persons. Rebecca Moore was the winner of the youth award. She is active in YouthScape, the Kitpu Youth Centre, Phoenix Youth Programs and In My Own Voice and hosts a show on CDKU radio in Halifax. There was a tie in the community group award so two winners were named. The Community Partnership on Drug Abuse in Cape Breton was presented an award for its work on building partnerships and advocating how to address drug abuse. The other winner in the category was the Eastern Communities Youth Association in Canso for its outreach programs to teens. There was also a tie in the police category. Cpl. Grant Webber of the RCMP Queens detachment was honoured for his Cops for Kids program and help with Citizens on Patrol. Const. Randy Wood of the Halifax Regional Police was recognized for his leadership in organizing block parties and bringing residents and landlords together. The winner of the media category was Blair Rhodes of CBC television. He has focused on crime prevention as part of the segment On Watch. The business category winner was Paul Gates of New Minas, owner of Gates Insurance and chair of Kings County Crime Prevention. “All of us who were involved with the awards have been encouraged by the positive reaction we have received,” said Stephanie MacInnis-Langley, director of the crime prevention unit. “The winners and other nominees show us that safety and crime prevention really is a team effort.” For more information on the awards go the department website at www.gov.ns.ca/just .