Sheriff Julian Whittington screen capture Bossier Sheriff dot com

Sheriff Julian Whittington of Bossier Parish joined 'Mornings With Ken and Bernie' today to discuss the US Department of Justice withholding funding for a program designed to protect 'at risk children'.  The program that's been in place for ten years is called 'Young Marines' and has served over a thousand 'at risk children' in that time.  A letter from the Department of Justice states that funding is being withheld due to inclusion of voluntary prayer in the program and Sheriff Whittington said,

The mere mention of God and voluntary prayer was termed offensive so funding is being discontinued.

When asked why the program had been singled out by the Department of Justice Whittington replied,

Actually we were told a random audit was conducted, which is not that unusual, it's pretty much customary.  To be sure guidelines are being followed.

According to Sheriff Whittington funding could be restored by the Department of Justice.

I was told if I produced a letter saying we would not do any of these activities and I just responded that we're not going to comply with that.  We're just not going to accept that.

The Sheriff's Office is not conducting a formal fund raising drive but Sheriff Whittington told us donations are coming in from various states and even foreign countries.  Donations can be made by calling the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office at 318-965-3500.

To hear more about the Young Marines program take a listen to the interview: