January 30, 2023

Safe and Healthy Communities Community-Based Public Safety Initiative

, Safe and Healthy Communities  Community-Based Public Safety Initiative
by Dr. Whitney Threadcraft

January 30, 2023

, Safe and Healthy Communities  Community-Based Public Safety InitiativePublic safety in communities of color remains a permanent fixture in the discourse among media pundits, policy makers, and countless other system oriented stakeholders. Notably, these conversations have historically deprioritized community voices in the public safety decision making process. Instead, public safety priority-setting has relied on traditional metrics such as calls for service, arrest rates, law enforcement patrol and surveillance strategies to inform the administration of public safety.

This orientation fails to account for the expertise of persons with direct lived experience, as well as the ways in which diverse communities define and prioritize community public safety. This lack of inclusivity disregards the perspective of persons most likely to be directly impacted by crime and other threats to the public order but least likely to be formally engaged in generating policy, guiding service delivery, or informing resource allocation. Houston’s historic Third Ward is no exception. Even as neighborhoods across the city see record upticks in violent crime, Third Ward residents continue to be excluded from local public safety planning process.

Emancipation Park Conservancy aims to increase Third Ward residents’ level of participation in community public safety planning process by collecting, analyzing, and reporting community insights on matters of public safety. This feedback will be publicly available to both system and community stakeholders to facilitate collaborative public safety priority setting and act as a measure of accountability Third Ward residents and local decision makers.

The Community Public Safety Initiative achieves this by:

  1. Creating a community created evidence-base to support data-driven decision and policy making, resource allocation, and public safety strategies.
  2. Standardizing measures of public safety to allow cross jurisdiction comparisons.
  3. Developing a community of practice or dissemination strategy to facilitate the scale and spread of promising public safety practices.
  4. Serving as an early indicator of emerging public safety concerns and establishing a methodology and roadmap for communities of color to define and prioritize public safety.
  5. Integrating existing public safety apparatus with community identified indicators to better inform system responses, such as law enforcement priorities, distribution of municipal resources, and local crime/justice policies.

Emancipation Park Conservancy’s extensive network of partners across the domains of community, business, and government uniquely positions the Park to lead the Community Public Safety Initiative. If you are interested in becoming a Community-Based Public Safety Initiative collaborative partner, please contact info@epconservancy.org.

For More Information

To learn more about the Emancipation Park Community Public Safety Initiative please contact the Director of Programs and Strategic Partnerships, Dr. Whitney Threadcraft.

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