Safety Issues Are Quality of Life Issues, Committee Chair Says

By Rigsby, Deborah A.; Anderson, Sharon D. | Nation's Cities Weekly, October 21, 1996 | Go to article overview

Safety Issues Are Quality of Life Issues, Committee Chair Says


Rigsby, Deborah A., Anderson, Sharon D., Nation's Cities Weekly


NLC's Public Safety and Crime Prevention (PSCP) Steering Committee completed its 1996 agenda with a focus on its priorities of ending domestic violence, preparing for disasters and preventing juvenile delinquency. The Steering Committee adopted policy on juvenile justice, disaster preparedness and emergency response, and domestic violence. Resolutions on church arsons, sentencing and spectrum allocations were also adopted.

The Steering Committee held its fall meeting October 4-5, in Daytona Beach, Fla., to complete work on recommendations for National Municipal Policy. "Addressing these issues is essential to the quality-of-life in cities and towns across the nation, and we, as local leaders, must be vigilant in working with Congress and the Administration to ensure that local government have substantive input in maintaining safe and healthy communities," said PSCP Chair Evelyn Turner, ouncilor, Columbus, Ga.

The policy recommendations for the PSCP Chapter of the National Municipal Policy will be considered by the full Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee and NLC's entire membership at the Congress of Cities and Exposition in San Antonio Texas, December 7 - 10. The PSCP Policy Committee meeting will be Saturday, December 7, from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response

A special subcommittee on disaster preparedness met Thursday, October 3, to draft policy on how local governments should be responsible for leading partnership among federal and state agencies in disaster preparedness and recovery efforts. The subcommittee, chaired by Mayor Hal Daub of Omaha Nebraska, considered a number of options to strengthen ways local governments can respond to both natural and manufactured disasters of all kinds.

Commissioner Gwyndolen Clark-Reed of Deerfield Beach, Florida, explained how her city established an emergency laon fund to cover immediate needs caused by any disaster. "The money set aside in the fund can be used as a tool to leverage more money for recovery efforts," Clark-Reed said.

In order to prevent future disasters, the subcommittee also recommend policies urging that the federal government work closely with local governments in establishing resources for disaster planning, training and technical assistance, and mitigation programs.

Youth and Juvenile Justice

Steering Committee members debated issues of prevention, education and intervention of juvenile delinquency, calling for continued federal support of programs that motivate students to stay in school and provide resources for parent training and after-school activities; direct funding to local governments for delinquency prevention initiatives; and a national juvenile criminal records information system. The Committee adopted policy recommendations and noted the concurrent interest and policy work of the Human Development Steering Committee concerning youth development.

Domestic Violence

The effects of domestic violence impact both families and communities and require prevention, intervention and prosecution efforts in order to eliminate the cycle of violence, according to Steering Committee members. Policy recommendations support continued funding of programs that seek to end domestic violence through public education and awareness for all, including children who have been exposed to domestic violence, and those who help address the problem, such as judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officials, educators and fire and medical personnel. …

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