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Safety is fundamental to the health and vitality of communities. People need to know that their children can walk to school without fear, and that their neighborhood streets and parks are peaceful places—every bit as much as they need good, affordable housing, living-wage jobs and strong schools.
Safety is also critical to attracting community-minded businesses and homeowners to neighborhoods. When crime is high, local economies shrivel. Revitalization and crime reduction must go hand in hand, which is why LISC invests in safety initiatives that promote police-community partnerships and community development at the same time.
Addressing crime and safety is as important as making sure people have affordable housing, jobs and health care, and good schools. Safe neighborhoods attract families and businesses.
LISC's Community Safety Initiative (CSI) establishes partnerships among law enforcement, residents, business owners and members of other neighborhood institutions.
Long-term, effective partnerships can significantly reduce persistent crime, disorder and fear. The Community Safety Initiative seeks to help neighborhoods reduce crime, increase public confidence, support home-ownership, and stimulate commerce.
In May 2016, LISC sponsored a three-day training in how to reduce and prevent crime through environmental design concepts and activation of space. The Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) methodology is growing in popularity and considered a critical part of engaging community, law enforcement, and developers in joint problem-solving around crime. Those trained included fifteen officers from the Milwaukee Police Department (representing four districts), City of Milwaukee planners, the District Attorney’s Office, Safe & Sound, Artists Working in Education and neighborhood practitioners from eight neighborhoods. Participants learned how the physical design and use of the environment can control human / criminal behavior and reduce the fear of crime. They also learned how natural access control and surveillance decrease opportunities for crime. Attendees worked together on a site survey and presented their results utilizing CPTED strategies. In partnership with the City of Milwaukee’s NIDC, LISC Milwaukee is offering project funds for outstanding projects resulting from the training.
In 2014, the Milwaukee Police Department and three community-based partners, United Methodist Children’s Services, Holton Youth + Family Center, and Riverworks Development Corporation received MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership Awards (http://www.lisc.org/csi/news_
In the history of the awards program, no city has ever won three awards in a single year. This nationally recognized award attracted over 500 applications in 2014 from police department and community development partners from across the country, ultimately recognizing only 11 partnerships. LISC Milwaukee, in conjunction with National LISC’s Community Safety Initiative, is proud to support the efforts of each award-winning initiative.
The following videos highlight impressive community-police collaborations that are key to successful, comprehensive neighborhood revitalization.
On April 23, 2013, community development leaders at LISC Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Police Department announced a partnership to improve safety in targeted urban hotspots. The announcement was made at an event in Washington Park’s Urban Ecology Center to an audience of neighborhood and community agencies representatives, lenders, philanthropists, police, prosecutors and elected officials. Key presenters included: Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn; Assistant District Attorney Jacob Corr, Leo Ries, LISC Milwaukee’s Executive Director; Barbara Notestein, Safe & Sound; and Tina Brooks LISC National Executive VP.
“People want to open businesses and send their kids to school and shop in safe neighborhoods. It’s impossible to talk about neighborhood revitalization without tackling public safety,” said Leo Ries, Executive Director, LISC Milwaukee
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