The role of crime prevention

The crime prevention specialist serves a significant role in communities.

Students should pay close attention to Nicole Nelson’s resignation as the 2nd Ward’s crime prevention specialist. Nelson resigned earlier this month. Jim Long was hired to serve as the interim crime prevention specialist until a permanent specialist is hired. The crime prevention unit is composed of various individuals, each representing a ward. The 2nd Precinct, which Nelson watched, is northeast Minneapolis, and it includes student neighborhoods Marcy-Holmes, Como Southeast and Prospect Park. The position of the crime prevention specialist aims at increasing police cooperation with communities and making neighborhoods a more livable, safer, better place.

If there is a neighborhood issue involving more than two people, the crime specialist serves as a diplomatic source of meditation. The unit deals with issues centered on safety and puts together personal safety workshops for its neighborhood. The position can be very broad and encompasses many things. For example, when considering an issue such as lighting Dinkytown, the crime unit specialist could have a significant role in this project. While the safety specialist cannot take on this task in its entirety, the unit can conduct the research and statistics necessary in making the argument that this is a safety concern for individuals living in that particular neighborhood. The position also serves as a link between many blocs: different neighborhoods, various neighborhood associations and between the police department and the neighborhoods.

In recent years, the program has received reduced funding. This neglect is something DFL-endorsed Cara Letofsky takes issue with. Letofsky would like to see more funding going toward this program. Green Party candidate Cam Gordon also sees the safety role that securing the relationship between the police and neighborhoods serves. Safety is one of the main issues being discussed in the roundtables this election. Students should pay attention to what candidates have to say and consider how this affects their livelihood in this city.