Demand Safer, Stronger Communities
Safe communities start with prevention. Programs for kids and teenagers will give them a sense of purpose and keep them away from crime. Safety for everyone and a sense of belonging can be created by cross cultural programming. Community events that consistently bring people together can help create neighborhood networks that have been shown to reduce crime.
In fact, evidence shows that crime often happens when youth and residents are disengaged from their local communities and networks, and when alternatives to crime like community service and extracurricular activities are missing or difficult to access. We aim to prioritize youth programming in the ward--like sports programs, year-round green shacks, and youth-led mentorship groups. Well-funded community leagues will help create a strong neighborhood culture, with events like monthly barbecues, open mic nights, scavenger hunts, and other community events. By bringing people together, we can help prevent crime and promote mental health instead of criminalizing disaffected individuals.
That said, we also recognize the importance of mental health responders for mental health-related crises. We need to expand access to 211 services that provide appropriate support for people in crisis. We need to push for increased funding to create accessible, multilingual mental and social health services located in our communities. Furthermore, community-based and trauma-informed crisis intervention teams should be available to de-escalate situations and then connect people with services through follow-up care beyond immediate emergencies.
We need community policing that focuses on building relationships with the community. The police serve the community. We need community members consulted via roundtables. We need community members assigned to help come up with solutions to specific problems via task forces. There should be permanent community advisory bodies that provide oversight. We can only create safe communities together.