Who thinks police & community groups should fight crime together? TWO Cabinet members and the NYPD's top cop

Date Published: 01/16/2014

The key to reducing crime in low income neighborhoods lies in collaboration between community groups and the police. At a symposium this week in New York City sponsored by LISC and the Police Foundation, U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder and HUD Secy. Shaun Donovan each told a crowd of more than 200 people that joint efforts like those championed by LISC are key to tackling crime. NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and other leading chiefs echoed this call for collaboration. As the attorney general said, "Today, LISC and its partners continue to stand on the front lines of this ongoing fight. You're proving that a holistic approach to public safety challenges is not only effective – but essential – when it comes to advancing these critical efforts."

Attorney General Eric Holder with LISC President & CEO Michael RubingerHUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, LISC President & CEO Michael Rubinger, Denise Scott, Attorney General Eric HolderMichael Rubinger, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, New Haven Chief of Police Dean Esserman

Safe Streets, Strong Communities

By Clem Richardson

Collaboration is one of those terms used so often by so many that it's easy to dismiss as meaningless.

That is, unless you were in New York yesterday for a national conversation on community safety led by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the Police Foundation.

MetLife Foundation President/CEO Dennis White, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, LISC President/CEO Michael Rubinger, New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman, Attorney General Eric Holder

Two Cabinet members, several police chiefs and multiple experts from across the country, all added texture to the same fundamental concept: when we break down the barriers between police and community groups; when we move beyond isolated funding streams, then it is possible to create the kind of opportunities that lift people and revive their neighborhoods.

And, reduce crime.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan demonstrated their belief in such joint efforts by sharing the stage at the "Safe Streets, Strong Communities" symposium held at the Ford Foundation in Manhattan. Donovan even made a point of the oddity of his presence noting, "...some outside this room may wonder what the HUD Secretary is doing at a forum focused on public safety."

But he quickly explained, "We all recognize that the challenges facing our communities are connected to each other. Distressed and abandoned housing units are often havens for crime—and contribute to public safety concerns. In turn, no housing can succeed if surrounded by unsafe streets."

During his remarks, Holder also talked of the imperative of bringing together the right partners as a force for change. Referring to LISC he said, "Organizations like this one, and the groups and individuals taking part in today's event, speak to the principle that built this nation: that we are strongest when we stand united."

Both Holder and Donovan highlighted the Obama Administration's commitment to making federal resources effective in urban neighborhoods through comprehensive initiatives such as the newly-announced Promise Zones, which coordinate federal investment in neighborhoods struggling with dilapidated housing, under-performing schools and high crime. Continue reading... [+]

Video Introduction

Keynote Remarks

  • The Honorable Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States - View Transcript
  • The Honorable Shaun Donovan, United States Secretary for Housing & Urban Development - View Transcript

Panel Presentations

Tales from two cities: Reducing Crime with untraditional allies

Conference Photos


"Safe Streets, Strong Communities" in the News:

> Holder and Donovan join New York police commissioner to discuss collaboration, The Washington Post

> NYPD chief talks partnerships at NYC crime forum, The Wall Street Journal

> Holder: End the 'Vicious Cycle" of Crime and Poverty, The Crime Report

Topics: Economic Development & Safety, --Community Safety, Policy

Type: Conference Proceedings