Celebrate Safe Communities is an initiative of the National Crime Prevention Council and the Bureau of Justice Assistance that was developed in partnership with the National Sheriff’s Association in 2008 to encourage and assist communities across the country to stand together and work together to prevent crime. Since its beginning, over 150 sites each year have planned events to educate and engage the community, and participation has grown to over 250 sites in 39 states in 2010.
Like the communities, the events have varied in purpose and scope, ranging from a 30th birthday party for McGruff in North Carolina to 40 neighborhoods joining local police for cookouts, parades, flashlight walks and more. While events vary, the purpose remains the same—joining and working together to make the community safe. We probably believe and live out adages such as organized neighbors make safe neighborhoods, strong communities make safe communities, or crime prevention is everybody’s business.
While we may not be familiar with Celebrate Safe Communities, most of us are familiar with National Night Out in August or with October’s Crime Prevention Month. And being in the crime prevention field, we’ve probably planned or helped plan an event for one or more of these initiatives
But how many of us have carried that commitment further, beyond August or October, especially when it takes time, money, and people, and while budgets continue to be tight. As we begin a new year 2011, let us once again remember why we got into this business in the first place, renew our commitment to make a difference, and share with each other what works. We invite you to share your successes from 2010 or your plans to engage the community in 2011 when money and volunteers may be scarce. What are the strategies you use to create that lasting impact?
For more information about the Celebrate Safe Communities Initiative, please visit www.celebratesafecommunities.org, or to share more of your successes or plans beyond this blog session, please email [email protected].