Administration Official Stresses Joint Solutions to Law Enforcement

Article excerpt

Lee Brown, well known chief law enforcement officer in three large cities and so-called "drug czar" for the Clinton Administration came to NLC headquarters to work with state and local leaders to formulate effective strategies to improve quality of life through better public safety measures.

Brown attended the September 24 meeting at the invitation of NLC Second Vice President Carolyn Long Banks, councilwoman from Atlanta.

"There is reason to be optimistic,"Brown told his fellow participants, "if we have the will to work together to tackle the tough issues," despite the grim statistic about continued hard core drug use and related crime and violence.

The meeting in Washington represented a rare opportunity for three levels of government and municipal associations to meet and work together toward the type of joint solutions the Administration seeks to derive.

Brown shared his observations on the direction in which the Clinton Administration will focus its strategies for dealing with drug abuse problems within communities, and explained that the emphasis will be on joint solutions.

Although Congress has approved the President's request for supplemental funding that will place more police officers on the streets, Brown cautioned: "it's not just more police officers, but how the police will be used. The Administration's approach will be to use them under the concept of community policing."

Brown defined community policing as "a partnership between the police and the people in the neighborhoods, designed to jointly determine what are the problems in that neighborhood and jointly determine what are the best strategies to solve those problems; to use the combined resources of the police and other government agencies and private sectors to solve problems."

"We need to energize the business community to participate in real job development which produces a career," he said. "We need to communicate clearly that criminality is not acceptable and work together to create an environment where the opportunity for changes and a brighter future is possible."

Public Safety is the topic for the 1994 NLC Advisory Council's Futures Process. To kick off the year long study of public safety and the future of this traditional local government responsibility, Long Banks convened the meeting, bringing together this unique, intergovernmental gathering of public safety experts. …