06/29/2015 06:05 EDT | Updated 06/29/2016 05:59 EDT

Ottawa gives youth crime prevention program in Cape Breton $3.9M

SYDNEY, N.S. - The federal government is giving a new youth crime prevention program in Cape Breton nearly $4 million.

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality says Ottawa's $3.9 million over five years will fund 24 full- and part-time workers and youth workers at the Sydney-based program.

The municipality is also giving the program $120,000 per year for the next five years, bringing the total funding to $4.5 million.

Run by the Cape Breton Regional Police Service, the program will help about 70 at-risk teenagers each year.

Police Chief Peter McIsaac says the initiative will help curb criminal behaviour and substance abuse by forming relationships and building trust.

The program will focus on teenagers' skills and help direct them towards educational, extracurricular and employment opportunities.