Creativity, organization, and activism help communities cope with police budget cuts
(ARA) – With schools back in session and the holidays approaching, many of us start to think more about the security of our communities. While crime is down, budget cuts in police departments across the country add to local concerns, and people in your community may be seeking new, cost-effective ways to make your neighborhoods safer.
“A recent Police Executive Research Forum survey found that police budgets are still being cut, even though the economic crisis appears to be easing in some towns,” says Ann Harkins, CEO of the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC). “The survey of 700 local agencies found that 51 percent said their 2011 fiscal year budgets had been cut, 78 percent had experienced cuts in 2010, and 40 percent planned to cut budgets in the upcoming fiscal year. These budget gaps create a need and an opportunity for private citizens to become more involved in keeping their communities safe.”
Efforts like NCPC’s Celebrate Safe Communities (CSC) initiative, which is supported by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, are becoming more important in helping people across the country minimize the negative impact of law enforcement budget cuts and create safer communities. The CSC initiative spotlights a community’s crime prevention efforts, raises public awareness of crime prevention and safety, and helps keep neighborhoods safe through ongoing prevention and awareness activities.
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