Law Enforcement Encourages Repeat Offenders To G.R.O.W. Up

Enough in enough. A group of law enforcement agencies is sending a direct message to felons.

In an effort to curb crime and put repeat offenders on notice, the Greenville Police Department launched a new initiative called G.R.O.W Up. It's a focused deterrence strategy which stands for Greenville Regional Offender Watch.

On Wednesday, police hosted a "call in," where eight of the most prolific violent offenders in Pitt County were confronted by community activists and law enforcement.

"What you see behind me is a representation of all the police chiefs within Pitt County, the sheriff, the DA, U.S. Attorney, DEA, FBI, ATF, IRS. All of the federal agencies are here with us," says Greenville Police Chief Hassan Aden. "We stand united. We're not taking it anymore."

It's an initiative at least one resident wishes was around when he was in the prison system. Willie James says he served a life sentence and has been out for four years.

"Go ahead and get back in school and make something out of yourself," says Willie James. "You can be anything you want to be."

The focused deterrence initiative teams up with Pitt County organizations to provide the offenders substance abuse counseling, education, housing, and additional resources. Police say it is up to them to take advantage of the services being offered.