The Safety Initiative was a two year grant to the Consensus Organizing Center at San Diego State University to establish a sustainable community effort to decrease crime and increase resident’s sense of community and safety within the Fairmount Village neighborhood of City Heights.
The Safety Initiative incorporated two models: The SafeGrowth program and the Consensus Organizing model. The SafeGrowth program, designed by crime expert Greg Saville, is traditionally used by policymakers to reduce crime through better environmental design. One of the cornerstones of the program is to incorporate resident input into community policing strategies. The Consensus Organizing model, designed by Michael Eichler of the Consensus Organizing Center at San Diego State University, taught community residents to organize themselves, access community resources, and partner with policymakers to improve their living conditions.
Residents, business owners, law enforcement officers and other stakeholders attended workshops and formed into working groups to identify key safety issues, and developed projects to address them.
The grant and program ended in 2013 with mixed outcomes. The program was successful at engaging 25-30 residents and community stakeholders to attend trainings, identify neighborhood problem areas, and implement plans to address them. However, police data showed crime had increased by the conclusion of the project. The reason for the increased crime could be that residents became more engaged and therefore reported more crimes but the metrics are not sophisticated enough to prove this conclusion.back to top