Friday, April 24, 2015

Whatever you do...keep moving forward

Together North Jersey's final report on the Newark SafeGrowth training - photo from TNJ report
With great respect for Martin Luther King Jr’s famous words about moving forward, I am reminded of crime prevention work in Newark, NJ.

Crime prevention can be slow and grinding. Six years ago I paid homage to participants in our SafeGrowth training with whom I am continually impressed. They are the ones who slog away at their daily chores and yet still remain committed to moving forward with changes they map out during the training.

Those local heroes are everywhere in these pages. In the past year alone they include Saskatoon, Milwaukee, Christchurch, Melbourne, St. Paul and this week New Jersey.

Newark SafeGrowth teams auditing abandoned buildings - photo TNJ report
You may recall my posts last year about Together North Jersey, the organization that heads a multi-agency initiative to work with low income and high crime communities around Newark. Their goal: Teach skills in neighborhood revitalization, CPTED and SafeGrowth to help local groups help themselves. AlterNation was hired to head up that training and project work.

Now their final report is available. The report, Training community-based organizations in CPTED - Together North Jersey Micro Grant Program lays out the entire Newark process from top to bottom.

Project implementation is still underway and the work is unfinished. Yet team members persist at fundraising and implementation. Plus, in spite of vexatious hurdles like high crime rates they tell me forward momentum continues. This report describes how. It is one of the clearest road-maps to date on SafeGrowth in action.

Testing Wanso Im's community crime mapping software - Mappler - photo TNJ report
The report also incorporates a new addition in the SafeGrowth story - Wansoo Im's innovative community mapping software that we tested during the class. During training walkabouts team members used their smartphones to upload real-time site evaluations on crime and fear. When we returned to the class the finished maps were waiting for us online.

Screenshot of Mappler crime mapping options available on smartphones

Congratulations to all team members in Newark (and everywhere we have done this training). Thanks go to the organizers, funders, policy folks, community workers, police officers, researchers, and mostly the residents and local associations. Your commitment to a better future honors us and demonstrates what citizenship should look like in the 21st Century.

2 Replies so far - Add your comment

  1. AnonymousMay 03, 2015

    It is great to see how well the Newark teams are doing. It looks like it has the core elements that a successful city needs: highly motivated SafeGrowth teams, partnerships and a vision. I am excited to see the future shape of the Newark SafeGrowth city. Mateja M

  2. Absolutely right. You have nailed the core elements - motivation, partnerships and a vision. I suspect inspirational leadership fits there too. Thanks Mateja for the comment.


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