NEW ORLEANS Crimestoppers is partnering with 13 local barbershops on New Orleans' east and west banks and as far out as St. Tammany in an attempt to curb violent crime.

The crime-fighting organization known for offering cash rewards for information leading to arrests, said it realized that barbers are non-traditional heroes in the community and that they can help get information out to the public.

'Any crime that happens in the area of my shop, the information comes into my shop before police get the information,' said Jimmie Turner, a barber in New Orleans East.

They established an initial group of shop owners who said they wanted to get involved.

Many of the barbers said they were inspired by 10-year-old Kanard Allen, who was at Monday's press event.

Allen was shot in the back in May at his own birthday party during a shooting spree that killed two people.

The program is called 'Barbers Cutting Out Crime' and the shops will display information and the barbers will discuss options in reporting and stopping crimes.

A video was also created that will be played in the shops on Saturdays.

'We're going to do things to have a presence in the community,' said Darlene Cusanza of Crimestoppers. '(We want) to start the dialog, to talk about the violence that's happening in the community and how each one of us can make a difference.'

Crimestoppers is planning to invite all barbers to participate in the program. For more information you can call 822-1111.

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