County Crime Forum Focused on Proactive Priorities
In an effort to tackle the crime issues from all angles, Cumberland County Freeholder Director Joe Derella gathered a group of experts in the field of law enforcement, education, non-profit, faith based, human services as well as government, to brain storm opportunities to reduce crime in Cumberland County. The Forum took place on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at Cumberland County College.
Derella said that he believes that there are many excellent opportunities for our citizens to participate in programs currently available through local police departments, churches and human services organizations. The Panel of approximately 20 all agreed that more citizen involvement is needed and that our youth should be included whenever and wherever possible. The group agreed that organizing community meetings in churches and other local gathering places that can be easily accessed, as well as empowering our residents to serve as rational voices in the community, will be two very important steps forward.
Members from Law Enforcement stressed that all cities and towns must support each- others efforts in this regard. The group agreed that it is clear that if offenders are not able to be reached through a faith based and or educational component, then they typically end up with law enforcement involvement.
Director Derella summarized the meeting by listing three action items for the group to focus on within the coming weeks: Supporting Youth Forums in all three Cities, Supporting and participating with the creation of a Community Advisory Board and creating 30/60 second public service announcements promoting the many resources available to those seeking mental health and addiction assistance.
Freeholder Director Derella emphasized that this meeting was a kick off to many other group discussions to address crime in the County. Starting the conversation is the first step. A proactive approach to addressing the challenges head on is how we make progress. Lets’ keep moving forward!