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National LISC News

Video Channel

The videos below showcase the tremendous work and impact that CSI has on neighborhood  safety and revitalization. Please visit the LISC Video Channel in order to learn more about LISC's  community development efforts around the country. 

Safe, Streets Strong Communities

LISC's Community Safety Initiative helps build partnerships among the police, community groups and residents that results in stronger, safer, more vibrant communities across the country.  This video showcases the strong partnership between  Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation and the Boston Police Department.  

United Methodist Chilren's Services and the Milwaukee Police Department

Milwaukee’s Washington Park has been one of the City’s most challenged communities, with high poverty and unemployment rates for decades.  Beginning in May 2010, United Methodist Children’s Services (UMCS) became the convening agency for an effort entitled the Washington Park Partners Sustainable Communities Initiative, coalescing a broad range of community and institutional partners, most notably the Milwaukee Police Department, to build neighborhood assets in seven key areas, public safety principal among them. Washington Park Partners established committees made up of aptly experienced individuals and organizations to pursue each asset goal; engaging residents from all walks of life was a priority for all.  In 2013 alone, the partners convened nearly 1000 residents and other key stakeholders in events such as cleanups, block watches, beautification projects and the like.  Simultaneous to this overarching outreach, each of Washington Park Partner’s issue committees was hard at work yielding impressive accomplishments. The teams created a Good Neighbor Agreement, prompting nearly a third of the area’s convenience and liquor stores to make physical improvements and agree to sell healthier products.  Calls for service at these locations plummeted, and confirmed incidents dropped more than 50%.  Milwaukee Police deployed officers in “hot spots” and ensured citizens felt comfortable using the City’s online reporting system, while also conducting workshops with youth to reduce conflict and improve mutual understanding.  Landlord management practices have improved and, with strong support from Habitat for Humanity, homeownership levels have risen as problem properties are rehabilitated.  Crime has dropped more than 30% in the last year alone with even more marked declines around specific problem locations targeted by the partners.


Riverworks Development Corporation, Holton Youth & Family Services and the Milwaukee Police Department

The Riverwest/Harambee and adjacent neighborhoods in Milwaukee are some of the most challenged areas of the City.  The high rates of poverty and joblessness coupled with low levels of educational attainment leave local youth at risk for truancy, gang involvement, conflict with law enforcement, and teen pregnancy.  In 2007, even before the housing crisis, this area was home to long swaths of vacant and abandoned buildings, an unemployment rate of 24% and the highest crime levels in the City. 

The Riverworks Development Corporation believed the Harambee community had great untapped potential in its proximity to downtown, the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan, and launched an economic development initiative along the Keefe Avenue corridor.  The City and the Milwaukee Police Department – along with a range of other service institutions and resident coalitions – quickly signed on.  Beginning in 2008, the police and Riverworks created a “safe neighborhood team” spearheaded by the Milwaukee County Community Prosecution Unit. This coalition partnered with the Department of Public works to prepare for and develop a multi-use recreational trail and linear park along a section of the Milwaukee rail corridor.  It has converted an old industrial facility into 36 units of new housing and recruited a new eatery to open along the trail.  It razed 12 blighted building and replaced them with 26 more units of housing, converted a foreclosed property into a restaurant that created 10 new jobs, removed graffiti, and established a business improvement district.

In 2011, the momentum in Harambee and its environs was enhanced when the Holton Youth and Family Center recruited a range of other local institutions, most important among them, the Milwaukee Police Department, to create the Holton Youth and Family Center Collaborative dedicated to reducing gang membership, crime, and violence.  By providing youth with safe havens, academic support, mentoring, and – critically – intentional and positive engagement with law enforcement, these dedicated partners assembled to support, intervene with, and redirect young people who would be otherwise headed into or returning to the criminal justice system.  Collaborative partners such as Wisconsin Community Services, Running Rebels (experts in youth mentoring, crisis stabilization, anger management, and daily living skills), the Community Prosecution Unit and others provide services to young people, including many recruited by police. To date, this effort has served over 1100 children and has spawned a Youth Leadership Council that works regularly with local police, walking the streets, distributing information on crime prevention, and brainstorming on effective crime reduction strategies. A Youth Risk Behavior Study conducted by a local funder showed nearly unanimous support for the Holton Youth program from participants

Crime began to drop in Harambee in 2008 – slowly at first, but picking up speed over the last three years. Since 2011, reported crime and aggravated assaults are down dramatically. Projections for 2014 include a nearly 50% reduction in violent crime and a 30% drop in property crime, which Milwaukee Police view as an achievement of these complementary partnerships.  


Rainbow de Colores Park in Philadelphia: APM for Everyone

Learn more about the Rainbow de Colores SafeGrowth Project, a collaboration of Eastern North community groups and the Philadelphia Police Department, led by APM.  

Fourth and State: Leo Ries on Partnering with the Milwaukee Police Department


Leo Ries, executive director of LISC Milwaukee, talks about a partnership with the Milwaukee Police Department to address community crime concerns through neighborhood revitalization and planning.

MPD: New Safety Strategy for Washington Park Neighborhood


Milwaukee, WI is the recipient of a national grant designed to improve the city’s Washington Park neighborhood. The Department of Justice will give the Milwaukee Police Department $600,000 over the next three years through the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation (BCJI) Program. The goal is to cut down on trouble spots in the Washington Park neighborhood.  

LISC Community Safety Initiative is the national technical assistance training and technical assistance provider for the DOJ BCJI program.  While the grant money will be used for the Washington Park community, Milwaukee Police Department and LISC-Milwaukee announced that they are partnering to work on community safety throughout the city.

Hawthorne EcoVillage Community Safety

In the Hawthorne section of North Minneapolis, LISC helped form a unique collaboration of police and residents to make the neighborhood safer, after years of crime and decline. The community policing effort helped reduce violent crime in the target area by 73%; police action calls dropped 84% and narcotics crime dropped 85%. Hawthorne EcoVillage won a LISC-MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership award for turning around the neighborhood.

Focus on Olneyville

A brief overview of Rhode Island LISC's involvement in the Olneyville neighborhood in Providence. Olneyville is one of two neighborhoods Rhode Island LISC is focused on for its Sustainable Communities program.

A Philadelphia Story 

A 20-year partnership between LISC and Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM) has revitalized Eastern North in Philadelphia. New affordable homes, businesses, banks and playgrounds replaced abandoned buildings and crime-ridden streets.

Partners on Crime: Police and Merchants Team up on Safety 


When San Franciscos Chief of Police, two police captains and dozens of uniformed officers came to spread awareness about public safety on Visitacian Valleys Leland Avenue at a February 9 event, merchants already knew many of them by name. With the help of VVBOOM, a program of Bay Area LISCs Neighborhood Marketplace Initiative, police and business owners on the Leland Ave. commercial strip have been working together on crime prevention for over a year.

Colonel Dean Esserman Testifies on Partnership with Rhode Island LISC

Responding to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Col. Dean Esserman of the Providence Police Dept, testifies that LISC is "one of the partnerships that matter. . .." Rhode Island LISC, along with LISC's Community Safety Initiative, implements police-community partnerships that has helped reduce crime in Providence's neighborhoods.

Rhode Island LISC Sustainable Communities Presentation

LISC's Building Sustainable Communities approach to comprehensive development is a local strategy that helps low-income communities become adequate places to live, work, do business and raise families. This presentation highlights Rhode Island LISC's efforts In Providence and Woonsocket to bring about positive change through partnerships with the local police force and local organizations. It was presented at LISC's 30th Anniversary Symposium in Washington, DC.

Community-Police Partnership Awarded to Avondale in Cincinnati

Administered by LISC, Avondale Pride Center, the Avondale Community Council, Uptown Consortium, the Cincinnati Police Department were honored with the MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership Award. Avondale is one of only 11 neighborhoods awarded the prize in 2009 from across the country. The community safety effort has reduced overall crime by 13%; firearm crimes by 41%; and quality of life crimes by 17%.

LISC Interview with Gregory Saville: 
What is a Safety Audit? How and When Should Communities Use a Safety Audit?

This video is focused on the implementation of a community safety audit and features Gregory Saville, course developer of SafeGrowth and senior partner at Alternation LLC.   The Safety Audit is a helpful tool for CPTED/SafeGrowth practitioners seeking to assess physical design liabilities and perception of fear and crime at a specific location.   Read more about SafeGrowth and find templates for sample Safety Audits.  

SOHI Business Association Technology Videos

CSI partner, SOHI Business Association in Milwaukee, WI collaborated with the Milwaukee Police Department to take advantage of the popular You Tube network as a vehicle for information-sharing regarding safety, security and nuisance abatement.  SOHI posted videos on a range of topics such as how to deal with a nuisance property, the new neighborhood policing plan, the role of the Milwaukee Police Department's Community Prosecution Team and much more. Click on the links above to watch SOHI videos.