2008 MetLife Awards: Police and Joint Agency (PJA) Committee

Local Initiatives Support Corporation
The purpose of the collaborative partnership, led by Rhodes College, is planning crime prevention and improving community physical conditions through community partnerships. In this context, the College and the Police helped to mobilize and support resident involvement in implementation of a three-part safety plan guided by these objectives: (1) Increase responsiveness of law enforcement to residents' and businesses' concerns; (2) reduce violent and drug-related crime in the neighborhood; and (3) cooperate with other groups to improve the neighborhood's physical and economic landscape. The community policing and economic development activities are part of a comprehensive "weed and seed" strategy to promote neighborhood revitalization and capacity building. One of the key strategies for dealing with crime was establishing the Police and Joint Agency (PJA) Committee. Under the leadership of Rhodes College, this group meets monthly to analyze crime patterns and design strategies that address crime generators in the neighborhood. This college-based partnership has brought together many public agencies, including the police department, to work directly with concerned residents at the grassroots level. Analysis of weekly and monthly crime data from the police department database has shown that overall crime rates have fallen in the neighborhood. Residential and commercial litter has also been significantly reduced through cooperative clean-up efforts. The partnership has developed a more efficient process for dealing with dilapidated houses in the neighborhood. With code enforcement agencies participating in PJA Committee meetings, responsiveness continues to increase.
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