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Blog Post

Celebrating Safe Communities

The following post appears courtesy of the Office of Justice Programs. In recognition of October as National Crime Prevention Month, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority partnered with the National Crime Prevention Council and the Department of Justice to host an event Celebrating Safe Communities. The early morning event, held last Wednesday, October 21, at the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro Station, was one of many events taking place in October to enhance public awareness of crime prevention and safety messages, and recruit year-round support for ongoing prevention activities that help keep neighborhoods safe from crime. Office of Justice Programs’ Acting Assistant Attorney General, Mary Lou Leary, joined representatives from the National Crime Prevention Council, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the D.C. government and the National Sheriffs’ Association to address community efforts to promote public safety. McGruff the Crime Dog was also there! In her remarks to the assembled audience of metro riders, commuters, and the general public, Acting Assistant Attorney General Leary emphasized the communal responsibility to foster safe and healthy communities: "And I encourage you all to get involved…because crime prevention is vital to building a better community." The Celebrate Safe Communities initiative is designed to showcase successful neighborhood crime prevention efforts implemented on a daily basis by individuals, families and local businesses. The objective of this initiative is to help communities organize safety-focused events and to rally public support for crime prevention programs. It is imperative for Americans of all ages to recognize that a safer community is no accident and that crime prevention is everyone’s business every day of the year. Suggestions for how individuals can become active in their own neighborhoods include:
  • Getting to know the local law enforcement through community events and activities;
  • Offering to volunteer for community events or local neighborhood watch functions;
  • Getting to know your neighbors and talking about the problems you see on your street, and what to do about them;
  • Watching out and helping out in the neighborhood.   Reporting suspicious activities to law enforcement or sheriff’s department immediately.
Volunteering is another direct way of becoming involved:
  • Volunteers can assist the police by staffing community policing substations ncpc.orgincludes many other suggestions and tools to prevent crime in your community, and more information about National Crime Prevention Month.
  • Volunteers can assist the police by participating in search-and-rescue activities.
  • Volunteers can provide traffic or crowd control.
 Interested communities can mobilize volunteers and businesses to paint over walls covered by graffiti and replace them with murals about the neighborhood, its people, and their culture and work with the local library or recreation center to host an information fair for parents and families on Internet safety and other child safety tips. The National Crime Prevention website at ncpc.org includes many other suggestions and tools to prevent crime in your community, and more information about National Crime Prevention Month.
Updated April 7, 2017