In Harrisburg, Mayor Linda Thompson and Harrisburg Police announced a new initiative to curb violence.
It's called the Neighborhood Safe Zone Act and she says this will add more police presence in crime ridden neighborhoods of the City of Harrisburg.
Mayor Thompson is basing this program on a similar one in Baltimore.
She says it will target neighborhoods like south Allison Hill and Uptown Harrisburg to make those neighborhoods safer.
Last summer when gun violence and drugs were major issues along Curtin Street, Mayor Thompson closed it off. She called it a law enforcement experiment at the time.
That action, combined with door-to-door actions and data collection with those existing residents, allowed effective adequate time for a secure safe zone to reclaim their sense of community.
Fast forward to Curtin Street now, and police say its mostly been quiet ever since.
“We cannot afford to lose a single neighborhood to crime, we can't allow a single child to go unprotected,” stated Mayor Thompson.
Joined by Harrisburg Police and other city officials, the Mayor will tackle violence by following seven steps:
- Choosing problematic neighborhoods based on crime
- Changing traffic patterns
- Using city resources to change the quality of live
- Issuing social service outreach teams
- Having police sponsored events
- Violence prevention programs
- Raising public awareness
“We also welcome our partners who will be partnering with the City of Harrisburg and the Police Department to fight crime, we can't do it alone,” cited Mayor Thompson.
The city is in the final stages of interviewing a police coordinator.
This police coordinator will be the person to follow up, to go in and perform data collection and build those relationships. That position comes with a 50,000 salary and Thompson says the program is all about building a better relationship with police.
“This plan will address our most important priority which is public safety and I remind everybody this city is in the interest of public safety,” stated Mayor Thompson.
Thompson said the city will bring on eight more police officers to the police force.
The Neighborhood Safe Zone program is set to begin immediately.