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Policymaker's Guide to Building Our Way Out of Crime: The Transformative Power of Police-Community Developer Partnership

NCJ Number
Bill Geller; Lisa Belsky
Date Published
June 2009
88 pages
Based on quantitative and qualitative evidence, this guide explains and illustrates how and why police and local community builders have become more involved stakeholders in, and defenders of, cooperative efforts to prevent crime and blight.
The case studies provided highlight the roles police have played in helping developers convert places that generated or attracted crime and blight into neighborhood assets that promote desired commerce; places for leisure activities; and/ or quality, affordable housing. For such public-safety transformations, the community developers who can have the most impact are those who do physical development. These are the developers who have the capacity to acquire a neighborhood's key blighted, crime-generating properties and transform them into new or renovated residential, commercial, and other community assets. When police work closely with such developers, each party typically finds that it achieves its own missions more effectively and efficiently. In the absence of various organizational changes that will institutionalize a public safety-community development strategy, the future of police-developer collaboration will remain ad hoc and dependent on the personalities and interests of individual leaders in both fields. Since this strategic partnership involves neighborhood transformations that take several years to be realized, the partnership must become institutionalized or the strategy will not have a sustained range and depth of impact on a locality's quality of life. The three main case studies of community developer-police partnerships presented in this guide occurred in Providence, RI; Charlotte, NC; and Minneapolis, MN. These case studies provide evidence that community-developer-police partnerships have converted crime "hot spots" into community assets that promote residents' safety and quality of life. This guide also presents a summary of the book, "Building Our Way Out of Crime: The Transformative Power of Police-Community Developer Partnerships." 57 notes and 61 references