February 26, 2007 Final Judging Scheduled for Thursday, February 22 in "Rap Against Violence-DND, Vol. 2"

The Orlando Magic's Bo Outlaw will join U. S. Attorney Paul Perez and disc jockeys from 102 JAMZ for final judging in the second annual "Rap Against ViolenceóDevelop Not Destroy" contest Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at the Rosen Centre in Orlando, said 18th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Norman R. Wolfinger.

Additional judges include Dr. Stanley Stone, chairman of May Buddy Dyer's Safe Orlando Task Force and Joe Davis, former lead singer with The Drifters.

The contest, developed by Wolfinger who is also a judge, encourages young people to write and perform an original rap or hip-hop song with a gun violence prevention theme. Ten winners will be selected and will record their original songs at a professional recording studio. The songs with then be professionally mixed, a CD produced, and distributed across Central Florida counties.

The first Rap Against Violence contest came about in 2005 when State Attorney Wolfinger decided to do more to get the community talking and moving to address gun violence in area neighborhoods. Merging the right message with the right messengers meant taking the gun violence prevention theme to the age group where the majority of gun crimes occur.

The project met with great success. Despite the upswing in violent crime the entire nation is experiencing, Operation Cease-Fire, the Rap Against Violence contest, and the deepening partnerships spurred by the two programs have helped moderate that upswing in Brevard and Seminole counties. Operation Cease-Fire is a law enforcement and prosecution partnership formed by State Attorney Wolfinger to reduce gun violence. Wolfinger's office was the recipient of a national award presented by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for the program in May at the Project Safe Neighborhoods national convention.

In announcing Volume 2 of the contest, State Attorney Wolfinger said, "we continue our quest to reach into the homes, hearts and minds of the community to spread a word-of-mouth epidemic against gun violence." The state attorney has challenged and met with law enforcement in other jurisdictions to promote a statewide songwriting competition in an effort to reduce gun violence by changing attitudes.

Wolfinger said the task this year is to motivate young people by working through the hip-hop community to develop the9ir neighborhoods and become active, positive influences on the times instead of destroying their communities by advocating a lifestyle of violence.

"The rap community has such a tremendous amount of talented artists who hopefully will unleash their gifts in a productive way through positive rap and hip-hop to make the community safer for everyone," said Wolfinger. Additional sponsors include: the sheriffs' offices of Brevard, Seminole, Orange, and Osceola counties; Bright House Networks, 102 JAMZ; CrimeLine; 18th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Norm Wolfinger; 9th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Lawson Lamar; and Project Safe Neighborhoods.

Created and maintained by:
Site Developed and Maintained by Nsync Data Systems
"N-Sync Computer Services"