Public and federally assisted housing areas have, unfortunately, often provided fertile ground for crime. As public housing throughout the country has changed over the years, community and law enforcement responses to crime and public safety in public housing communities have had to evolve, and ILJ has worked with many clients to identify and disseminate best practices in responding to crime in these communities. There are many stakeholders in the effort to make public housing safe, including the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, local housing authorities, police departments, community development corporations, residents, and community groups, all of which ILJ has worked with extensively.
Community Policing in Public Housing Training and TA
Under a cooperative agreement between the U. S. Departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Development, ILJ administered the Community Policing in Public Housing (CPPH) consortium. The CPPH consortium consisted of ILJ, the International City/County Management Association, National Center for Community Policing of Michigan State University, and Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).
The CPPH consortium designed a unique training experience that allowed workshop attendees to actually experience and work with community policing strategies. Workshop attendees were given an opportunity to perform exercises with team members to solve specific problems in their own jurisdictions and to engage the community in the implementation of community policing in public housing. The groups covered the following topics:
- Community team building
- Components of community policing
- Problem solving techniques
- Resident empowerment
- Service orientation
- Community policing implementation process.
The training was designed address the specific needs of the jurisdictions represented at the workshops. Participants were required to bring relevant data regarding crime, resources, and problems to the workshop. Each team left the two and one-half day workshop with an implementation plan for their jurisdiction. In addition, follow-up technical assistance was made available to the teams.
Fort Myers, Florida, Police Problem Solving and Downtown Redevelopment
ILJ was selected by the Fort Meyers Police Department (FMPD) to evaluate a grant-funded problem solving partnership between the Department and the city’s Downtown Redevelopment Agency (DRA). Downtown Fort Myers once thrived, but had experienced several years of dilapidation and incivilities. The FMPD-DRA partnership involved a multi-agency and business collaboration to control and prevent crime and make the downtown entertainment district more attractive for businesses, tourists, restaurant patrons, and other visitors. The evaluation included pre- and post-implementation surveys and analysis of crime and call for service data for the target area. Two groups were surveyed, business owners and patrons in the downtown redevelopment area. FMPD community policing officers conducted the surveys on and off duty through face-to-face interviews. ILJ continues to assist the FMPD build on the progress made through this partnership.
Assessment of the Oasis Project in Louisville, Kentucky
For the National Institute of Justice, ILJ conducted a comprehensive process evaluation of the Louisville Oasis project implemented by the Oasis Institute, Housing Authority of Louisville, Louisville Police Department, and others. The "Oasis technique" enabled police, housing authorities, other public and private agencies, and residents to analyze and solve neighborhood problems of blight and street-level crime.
Sample Publications and Products
Community Policing in Public Housing training—contact Ed Connors at for more information