In the late ‘80s a few elected officials, the City of Tacoma Police Chief and the Pierce County Sheriff got together to talk about crime and the growing concerns with gang activity. They knew that law enforcement had to be part of the solution, but they also knew there could not be a cop on every corner. What could be done to make our streets safe? And from that question the Safe Streets Campaign was born and they still continue to work with communities today to help them figure out ways to help themselves.
Recently, I went to a Safe Streets meeting in Spanaway, an area the Pierce County Council hears a lot of concerns about from citizens in that area. Concerns include land use issues, property crimes and like so many other areas, homelessness. The meeting started with a “how to” mobilize. Mobilization is all about organizing your neighborhood, identifying the problems, maybe even figuring out how to solve them. Safe Streets is there to work with these groups on the “how to get it done” part. The County’s Human Services Department that works on homelessness issues and the Sheriff’s Department were at the meeting to discuss the County’s effort to address the growing concern of homelessness, as well as some of the crime that is happening in Spanaway.
The meeting ended with a lot of energy. I believe that there will be many people that will continue to come out of their homes to “get it done”. Residents were thankful that Safe Streets, the County and the Sheriff’s department traveled to their community.
Why was I at a meeting not in my district? I make decisions for all of the County and our votes should not be with just our own district in mind, so I try to understand what is happening in other areas. I believe having an awareness of all the needs and concerns in Pierce County and responding to those needs, is making the County better as a whole. We’re more than seven districts; we are “One County”, and having knowledge of each district will help us work together for solutions that benefit all of Pierce County.
Click here for more information about Safe Streets.