National Group Helping At-Risk Youth Opens Omaha Branch - FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; |

National Group Helping At-Risk Youth Opens Omaha Branch

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Zach Revense

OMAHA (KPMT) - By day he serves as the bailiff on Judge Judy's popular television show. Behind the scenes, Petri Byrd runs a program helping at-risk youth.

Byrd stopped by Omaha to help set up a new branch for the OK Program, which helps young people carve paths away from crime.

The group calls itself a four-pillared foundation: parents, police, schools and faith. "We have to have an impact on young black men's lives," says founder Donald Northcross. "I think the Omaha police department can do more on the front end working with the black community."

The program sets up police officers in schools to be mentors for teens. The program started 23 years ago in California.

Northcross says kids who have grown up with the group are getting PhD's and becoming educators and police officers.

Byrd has chaired the OK Program for nearly a decade. He says it's worth taking a break from his day job on Judge Judy. "Homicide is the number one killer of African American males ages 15-34," he says. "Somebody has to take responsibility for it, and as a black man, I should take responsibility for it. That's a part of my community."

Byrd and Northcross will share more details on the program Saturday at Benson High School.

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