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AG Office Planning: October is Crime Prevention Month
Michelle Boykins, Senior Director of Communications, National Crime Prevention Council
October is National Crime Prevention month—a time when the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) asks us to renew or join the commitment to help “Take A Bite Out Of Crime®.” In 1984, October was designated as Crime Prevention Month through a presidential proclamation and since then, NCPC has been working with local law enforcement, government agencies, civic groups, schools and businesses, and other organizations to help them spread the word about crime prevention and personal safety.
Attorneys general are dedicated to ensuring public safety and working with local law enforcement, particularly crime prevention units, who often have the strongest community ties and on public safety programs. With shrinking law enforcement budgets across the country, the role that each of us can play in preventing crime is more important than ever. The NCPC can help communities fill the gap.
“Many police departments and community groups need the vital resources we provide to bring crime prevention education programs into the schools or the community,” said Ann M. Harkins, NCPC president and CEO. “We continuously receive requests for help from communities and local law enforcement to continue their crime prevention efforts.”
The Celebrate Safe Communities Initiative (CSC) is crime prevention done the right way– local people working with local law enforcement to address local issues. CSC spotlights communities’ crime prevention efforts, enhances public awareness of vital crime prevention and safety messages, and recruits year-round support for ongoing prevention activities that help people keep neighborhoods safe from crime and prepared for any emergency. CSC is one of NCPC’s many programs that work to enhance police, government, and community interaction in support of local crime prevention efforts. Information about CSC and other NCPC programs, training, and resources is available at www.ncpc.org.
CSC began in 2008 in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice, with the goal of providing free tools and resources to local law enforcement agencies to help them implement crime prevention education programs and activities. In five years, CSC has reached three quarters of a million Americans in 40 states across the country. Originally focusing on Crime Prevention Month each October, CSC was expanded in 2010 to a year-round effort to meet the increased demand for resources in communities.
For the last three years, NCPC has selected four themes—one theme for each week of Crime Prevention Month – with input and feedback provided by crime prevention professionals and CSC sites all across the country. This year the four themes are:
- Protecting Your Personal Property
- Staying Safe in a High-Tech World
- School Safety and Security
- Safety in the Golden Years
NCPC is working with national partners like The Wireless and FINRA Investor Education Foundations and many others to provide free, theme-centered training programs and blogs, online resources, and print materials to help local law enforcement agencies and community groups implement CSC events.
During National Crime Prevention Month and throughout 2013, more than 300 communities work through NCPC’s Celebrate Safe Communities initiative to hold local crime prevention events where government, law enforcement, schools, businesses, and neighborhoods join together to host these events, share safety tips, and generate awareness of public safety solutions to local crime problems.
Preventing Consumer and Investment Fraud
Many sites also take advantage of our signature Crime Prevention Month Kit, which is focused this year on preventing consumer and investment fraud. Each year, NCPC develops this kit that includes reproducible brochures and tips and strategies to prevent crime. Additionally, throughout the month of October, NCPC will be working with our media network to help state events receive local media coverage.
For more than 30 years, NCPC’s beloved icon, McGruff the Crime Dog®, has instilled the message that preventing crime is everyone’s business. NCPC says a special thank you to all the law enforcement officers and crime prevention associations who help bring McGruff into their communities and have helped him achieve a recognition rate of more than 83 percent among Americans of all ages.
This October and in the foreseeable future, community engagement is more important than ever. While some communities enjoy a crime rate that is the lowest it has been in the last 30 years, others are experiencing spikes in local crime. As local and state public safety budgets continue to shrink and federal government spending cuts are projected, CSC offers a way to continue the important work of building safe communities and strengthening law enforcement and community partnerships.
Plan your Celebrate Safe Communities event today. Visit www.celebratesafecommunities.org to learn more about our theme-based and other resources for local events. The NCPC’s mission is to be the nation’s leader in helping people keep in themselves, their families, and their communities safe from crime.
Michelle Boykins,Senior Director of Communications, National Crime Prevention Council
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