Strategy 4: Public Safety

Goal: To promote safety in the neighborhoods. The basics of a safe neighborhood are already in place with the police and fire departments. The main disconnect is educating the people in the neighborhoods of how to get the most from what is available and how to improve in the areas that are not already in place.

Objectives: To identify and recommend means to improve Public Safety in the GHNEPA Neighborhoods.

 

4.1 Objective:  To advocate precinct policing for following: Community-Oriented policing (COPS) Stations is a highly desired form of policing. This was in the works in 2009 but was cut short by budget constraints. The people today have no idea of who will show up when they call 911.

Actions:

4.1.1 Drug dealing is rampant in some of the parks at night. Officers

should check parks during normal driving with their spot lights during hours of darkness. Consider the possibility of:

4.1.1.1. Closing parks after a set hour, or

4.1.1.2. Adjusting watering times to evening hours, to discourage park use late at night

4.1.2. Educate the public about why things like record keeping of

events is important to stopping further events from happening.  Educate

the public that they need to take their neighborhoods back.

4.1.3. A criminal rehabilitation and mentoring program to reduce

reoccurrence of criminal activity should be considered by neighborhoods.

4.1.4. Increase Block Watch participation. We join other strategy

committees in making this one of the highest community priorities.

4.2. Objective: To create a crime free environment.

Actions

4.2.1. Add lighting to the parks. Hillyard has used the low wattage LED lights in downtown; these lights could be moved to some of the parks like Kehoe and Harmon Sharply parks. Others parks could be added later as more money becomes available.

4.2.2. Have more activities in the parks such as; Artists, Vendors and Musicians in the park being able to charge for their services or ask for donations. Try to create “Lawyer in the Park” as happens in Riverfront park.

4.2.3. Have the shop keepers stay open longer to keep more eyes on the street to reduce criminal activity.

 

4.3. Objective:  To support existing Fire and Emergency Services.  We received no stakeholder inputs for specific improvements to fire and emergency services which apparently reflects satisfaction with these services. However fire station manning at a bare minimum needs to be improved. Community organizations can support this by informing their memberships about these programs and by forging partnerships where possible.

 

4.4. Objective: To Advocate for Adults as Stewards of Children.

Actions

4.4.1. Make more availability for kids to talk 1 to 1 with police officers. This is normally accomplished at school but maybe there can be an alternate program set up such as Chalk Art Walk, the Hispanic Festival and Hillyard Festival.

4.4.2. Have an officer ride on different school bus routes so the kids get to feel comfortable around them.

4.4.3. Improve community awareness by promoting an “officers on bikes” program in the summertime.

4.4.4. Make more Safe Houses in the neighborhood which would work with the Project Safe Place program.

 

4.5. Objective: To enhance Public Health efforts in the area.

Actions

4.5.1. Minor emergency clinic in a central area Stakeholders identified this need, recommending working with regional health care systems to promote and establish such a facility.

4.5.2. Improve food quality and security in our neighborhoods. GHNEPA discussions in this and other strategy committees identified general issue with poor or inadequate nutrition and potential food shortages as a real concern for low income neighborhoods. Recommend the new planning organizations work with regional health agencies to promote nutrition education, food production, food preservation and food economics practices in the community.

4.5.3. Neighborhood sanitation is a basic issue, identified from GHNEPA members’ observations and stakeholder input, specifically garbage and vermin control. Recommend the new planning organizations (Strategy 10) work with regional health agencies to address these problems as part of neighborhood improvements recommended by other strategy committees.

 

4.6. Other Stakeholder Comments for Long Term Planning.  Our strategy team did not have the experience to propose solutions to all of the public safety suggestions offered by stakeholders.  However Strategy Team 10 proposes a community planning organization and process to address these longer term propositions. We offer the following stakeholder comments as priority topics for this organization to work with city agencies.

4.6.1.Safe, user friendly parks, to include provisions for

4.6.1.1. Public safety patrols,

4.6.1.2. Additional lighting for at least Kehoe and Sharpley-Harmon parks (especially the skate board facility).

4.6.1.3. Include in this discussion watering policy to facilitate day use and discourage illegal night uses of parks.

4.6.2. Ridding neighborhoods of drugs, drug dealers, drunks and hard core criminals is a high neighborhood priority, according to stakeholders. There are economic, cultural and health components contributing to an overall illegal situation. Priority must be placed on future neighborhood interaction with appropriate agencies to resolve this complex problem.

4.6.3. Stakeholder comments reflect that they do not feel safe in their homes or neighborhood. In part this stems from a relatively high incidence of crime; but another part appears to be perceptual.

4.6.3.1. Recommend a return to community based policing as soon as possible (see recommendations at 4.1 above),

4.6.3.2. Include security components in improved community communications and activities. Neighborhoods need opportunities to actively participate in security issues.

4.6.3.3. Stakeholders identified noise violations (boom boxes, parties and loud auto stereo systems) as irritations and that non-enforcement contributes to the sense of a lack of public safety. The neighborhood needs to work with Code Enforcement and the police department to change this perception.

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