Friday, February 6, 2009

Summary Notes - Neighborhoods Committee Meeting - January 26, 2009

Neighborhoods Committee Meeting
Jan. 26, 2009 – 7:00 pm – Silver Spring Regional Services Center
Summary Notes

Participants: Dwayne Jenkins, Silver Spring Regional Services Center; Megan Moriarty, SSCAB; Jennifer Nettles, Peterson Management; Tony Hausner, Prezco; Luther Hinsley, Avery Park Community Association; Anita Morrison; Kusum Purohit; Ana Puentes; Alev Akbulut; Mary Reardon; Marcie Stickle; Victor Salazar, Weed & Seed; Kathy Stevens, SSCAB; Rukiyat Gilbert, Southern Management; Wayne Goldstein; Maura Lynch, State’s Attorney’s Office.

Megan Moriarty gave an update on the topics covered at the last SSCAB meeting and the Committee’s meeting after introductions. Kathy Stevens explained she and Darian Unger will represent the SSCAB in a meeting with the County Executive to discuss budget priorities on Feb. 3. Megan will circulate the final testimony to the committee.

Community Safety Issues

Victor Salazar gave an overview of the Northwest Park-Oakview Weed and Seed program. Highlights from the first two years of the program include: a decrease in crime due to police overtime funded through Weed and Seed; an expansion of community services offered to area residents. Luther Hinsley, a resident at Avery Park Apartments in the Weed and Seed target area, described his experience with the program including forming a neighborhood watch program. Victor presented the three budget priorities from the steering committee: maximize law enforcement and community policing efforts; provide safe, secure, healthy living environments; preserve community-based services for youth and families. As this is the third year of the five year program, Victor is looking for ways to institutionalize it and have residents assume the responsibility for its work.

Tony Hasner gave an update on the planning for Prezco’s crime prevention summit. The SSCAB and SSRC have agreed to co-sponsor the event with Prezco. They are working with the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention to design the content and will need to choose focus topics soon, in addition to compiling data. Maura Lynch offered to help with data gathering and Kathy recommended leaving space during the summit for organic ideas to emerge (by using open space technology, for example). The summit is tentatively scheduled for May. The next planning meeting will be: Feb. 3, 7:30pm. Anyone interested in participating should contact Tony.

Action Planning Updates

Ana Puentes, Alev Akbulut and Kusum Purohit presented their collective ideas that emerged after meeting at the Silver Spring Action event in January. They are interested in helping small businesses in Silver Spring by improving their customer service, appearance and branding. Marci Stickle suggested they contact Emily Adelman at LEDC since she recently compiled the Shop Local guide for Silver Spring and knows many of the business owners. Other ideas included: doing mystery shopping at City Place; connecting owners with existing ESL classes; meeting with Aurelia Martin (manager at City Place); and finding ways to connect successful business owners with newer ones. Maura suggested contacting the Liquor Board because they have funds to provide small business training and are doing so in other parts of the County. She also described a group of owners, police and County Code Enforcement employees that meet in the Wheaton CBD on a monthly basis to discuss issues affecting small businesses. Dwayne Jenkins agreed to follow up on this model and see if that could happen in Silver Spring also.

Megan and Dwayne agreed to meet to discuss follow up from the December Youth Action Planning meeting and the idea of integrating youth voices into the SSCAB and Neighborhoods Committee.

1 comment:

Pastor Steve said...

Community Policing is a valuable resource in motivating neighborhood residents to cooperate with police in reducing crime. Although it is not a cure-all, community policing can have a positive impact by establishing a volunteer police chaplain program (at little of no cost to the PD). Assigning volunteer police chaplains to specific police sectors where their respective congregations are located accomplishes three purposes. 1) Clergy are known in the community and are privy to issues in their specific neighborhood. 2) A PD has an additional and respected voice in neighborhoods. 3) Parental control of neighborhood youth is enhanced. (What would grandma say if she knew what you are doing?) PD chaplains riding with police officers send a message to the community that the faith community is a player in reducing crime and public nuisances. “Stories of the Street: Images of the Human Condition” demonstrates the significant contribution volunteer police chaplains make in serving specific neighborhoods in a community policing module. Ref:
Volunteer Police Chaplain Steve Best, (Ret.)