News From Our Partners at BJA
Celebrate Safe Communities!
Nationally, the overall rate of crime has dropped. Despite this decline, cities and communities face localized increases in violence and some property crimes. According to recent national surveys, the public continues to view crime as a serious problem. Fear of crime affects decisions that residents make about where to go and what to do in their communities and may affect their comfort about working with law enforcement on community safety initiatives. Some studies suggest that high numbers of mortgage foreclosures and recent downturns in the economy will affect increases in crime. Local law enforcement needs assistance to confront these challenges effectively.
Prevention-focused community-law enforcement partnerships are the most effective tool we have to prevent crime and address the fear of crime. Celebrate Safe Communities (CSC) is a new Bureau of Justice Assistance-supported initiative of the National Sheriffs’ Association and the National Crime Prevention Council that is designed to help local communities highlight the importance of residents and law enforcement working together to keep our communities safe places to live, learn, work, and play. CSC was launched nationally and is supporting local celebrations on October 2–4, 2008 as part of the kick-off recognizing October as Crime Prevention Month.
To support local communities planning CSC activities, the national partners established an online registration and resource center, www.celebratesafecommunities.org, where local law enforcement agencies and their community partners can register their activities, check out what other communities are planning, link to a collection of crime prevention tools and resources tailored to help address their priority concerns, and learn about awards to recognize extraordinary CSC sites’ accomplishments. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet on CSC is also posted to the site.In June and July, the national partners held four 60-minute webinars that provided information on helping local initiatives succeed.
- June 22 @2:00 p.m. EDT – CSC 101: Get Involved Now!
- June 25 @2:00 p.m. EDT – Nuts and Bolts of Physical Security: What Residents Need to Know
- July 16 @2:00 p.m. EDT – The Media Can Be Your Partner! How to Make it Happen With CSC
- July 30 @2:00 p.m. EDT – Watch Out and Help Out: Neighborhood Watch and More
In addition, CSC offers the following:
- Media outreach kit includes the following downloadable materials:
- Multi-media news release you can tailor for local use
- Sample press release, editorial
- Video clips highlighting effective crime prevention activities
- CSC fact sheet
- Tip sheets containing information on recruiting resident volunteers, support from local businesses, and visibility before local policy makers
For more information and updates on these and other resources from the CSC partners, visit www.celebratesafecommunities.org or contact the National Crime Prevention Council at 202.261.4125 or Kelly@ncpc.org. Remember, less crime is no accident; it takes you watching out and helping out to keep your community safe!