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‘Holistic Approach’ Recommended in New Report on District Public Safety

As CPDC this summer announced our “Collaborating for Prevention” safety campaign, the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan social and economic policy research organization, recently released a timely report, “Our Changing City: Public Safety,” which explores public safety and crime in Washington DC.

According to the report, although violent crime has fallen both nationwide and in DC over the past 20 years, improvements across the District have been uneven. Pockets of violent crime are unchanged in some neighborhoods, particularly Northeast and Southeast DC, the report notes.

A major takeaway from the report is that improving public safety in DC demands more than policing and will require a collective effort. A “holistic public safety approach—one that goes beyond policing to include socia­­l services and that emphasizes prevention instead of reaction” is recommended.

Supported by diverse partners including the Metropolitan Police Department and several local organizations, CPDC’s two-year safety initiative seeks to engage residents and community members across DC—especially in high crime ‘target areas’—with the end-goal of improving resident-police relationships and establishing a community policing plan.

“Only through collaboration that involves social services, police, nonprofits, and residents working together can the city build healthier, safer communities…” the “Our Changing City” report concludes.

As a leading DC affordable housing and resident services provider, CPDC recognizes this and has already taken steps to engage a broad array of community stakeholders to work together toward improved public safety.


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