Neighborhood Safety Work Team

Eric Smith – Think Tank

In May, the Neighborhood Safety Work Team of the Lincoln neighborhood of Springfield, Ohio, convened a “Meet-&-Greet” with the Chief of Police, four of the Police Department’s officers, 3 principals from area schools the mayor of Springfield and an estimated 45 residents.  A light dinner was cooked by residents with the ingredients supplied by the local church food pantry.  The purpose of the meeting was to start to build a relationship between the neighborhood residents and the police force charged with patrolling the area.  The tone of the meeting was generally positive so that the police would know that they had allies in the neighborhood, much as the residents would know that they had allies in the police force.  Ideas were exchanged regarding how to best coordinate efforts for highest impact.  One of the suggestions was to have better reporting of incidents of illegal activity.  The Neighborhood Safety Work Team has met since the Meet-&-Greet and a task force has been formed to look at how to launch a block watch program to better respond to safety concerns in the neighborhood on an ongoing basis.