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Nonprofit Eyes Net Gains in Public Safety

For now, the crime commission's leadership consists of Spak, the acting executive director; Linda Nargi, his part-time assistant; and three board members Spak has recruited.

But the group's structure and mission statement -- "fighting crime is every citizen's business," it reads in part -- have been carefully mapped out. Once the commission's membership blooms, it will elect an all-volunteer board of directors, Spak said. Three positions -- the executive director, assistant and a chief financial officer -- will be paid.

Members will be able to serve on several committees. Some will tackle crime issues; others will raise and dole out grant money to law enforcement and honor local crime fighters.

Spak said one challenge will be building an economically diverse membership roster. Most members will fork over as much as $50 in yearly dues and $20 for each monthly breakfast meeting; nonmembers must pay $25 to attend a meeting. Those selected to sit on the Board of Directors will have to cough up $5,000 in annual dues. Sponsorships might be an option, he said.

"If we find out that a certain sector of the society wants to but cannot come, we have to be receptive of it," he said.

Spak has poured in $25,000 of his own "seed money" to get the commission started, and he is soliciting donations from executive friends. He has printed up brochures, reserved a Landsdowne conference center for future meetings and launched a Web site, www.loudouncrimecommission.org.

On a recent morning, a briefcase full of commission flyers sat on a table in Spak's office. He said he planned to take them to businesses that afternoon. Spak said nearly everyone he has told about the commission, from CEOs to federal law enforcement officers, has signed on.

"Every month, we're going to make a difference -- somehow, somewhere -- once we get up and running," he said.

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