2009 MetLife Awards: Operation Cocoa Cleanup

Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Operation Cocoa Cleanup is a community-police partnership formed to address severe crime conditions at Crestview Villas condominium complex. Thirty-eight percent of units at this complex were demolished or severely damaged by Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne in 2004. The ruined and vacant units became a hotbed for gang activity, open drug deals and shootings, forcing residents to live in fear. The goal of the Operation Cocoa Cleanup was to build an effective community-police partnership to eradicate crime and restore a sense of safety at Crestview Villas, while contributing to larger community development efforts in the target area. The joint revitalization plan included creative policing to stabilize the area, while the non-profit Homes for Independence worked on acquiring and redeveloping the housing stock. Police, Homes for Independence and resident leaders also worked together to build a stronger sense of community in the neighborhood through door knocking, events and services. Operation Cocoa Cleanup has succeeded in rebuilding a community devastated by hurricanes into a thriving area that works collaboratively to keep residents safe.
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