The Neighborhood Ownership Model in Forest Park Southeast answers the question “How can we, as residents, make our neighborhoods safer? Empowered and educated citizens work with the police and government on reducing crime in this program backed by many officials including Mayor Francis Slay and the honorable Judge Steven Ohmer.
Police Chief Dan Isom comments, “Our police department has some of the best technology available to law enforcement…Still, it all pales in comparison to the tremendous impact of citizen involvement. When citizens work together with police and prosecutors, it sends a message to criminals…That message is more powerful than any technology we can buy.”
Although many people care about the safety of their neighborhood, it is easy to become complacent when balancing these concerns with the demands of everyday life. After a long day of work, many neighbors juggle social and family responsibilities. While to keep communities safer, familiar routines keeps residents in their comfort zones. And when the ever-present Law & Order re-runs offer the chance to relax, lofty goals about neighborhood involvement retreat into a mental safety deposit box, locked away from another time.
The Neighborhood Ownership Model offers an alternative to the status quo. With multiple ways to get involved, residents can select roles that fit their schedule. It IS possible to have a direct impact on crimes such as robberies and drug use.
- Block Captain or Assistant: Each block in the neighborhood may want to have a point of contact that helps educate and mobilize the residence on that block.
- Citizen Patrol Unit: Neighbors are organized to patrol streets. These members are trained to identify problems and engage law enforcement to intervene when they believe a crime is occurring. The members are also trained to understand the needs of your neighborhood and to report back on problems identified during their patrol.
- Neighborhood Impact Statement: Victims and witnesses of crime are a powerful tool in the criminal justice system. Cooperation and court appearances can support better prosecution of criminals. Residents in partnership with the prosecutor on the case, give statements to the Court on the impact a particular crime or type of crime has on their neighborhood.
- Neighborhood Order of Protection: File for an order by a judge prohibiting a criminal from going into a part of the city either a condition of bond or probation.
- Court Appearances: Citizen involvement is a powerful tool in the criminal justice system. Cooperation and court appearances can support better prosecution of criminals. Residents in partnership with the prosecutor on the case appear in Court on the impact a particular crime or type of crime has on their neighborhood.
- Victim Support Team: Trained neighbors help support victims of crimes to ensure they have the support they need to manage through the legal system, and have the emotional support of the community.
- Victim Impact Statements: Victims provide statements to judges to ensure a judge understands how specific crimes and criminals have made a negative impact on their lives. This is very helpful during the sentencing period.E-mail FPSENOM@gmail.com for more information.