1925 Nicollet Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Stevens Square Community Organization (SSCO) has in place a comprehensive and proactive safety and crime prevention program that works successfully with law enforcement to reduce and prevent crime by bringing to the table significant volunteer involvement and staff expertise. SSCO has the longest active Block Patrol in the city, which has been highly effective. Block Patrol is a way for residents to communicate with the organization regarding concerns, and a way for the organization to connect with residents to promote safety in the neighborhood.
The Safety Committee continues to address crime and safety issues that negatively impact quality of life. The Safety Committee’s initiatives – in cooperation with law enforcement and business and property owners – have led to a significant reduction in crime in the neighborhood. The committee’s volunteer programs include Block Patrol, graffiti clean-up initiatives, public education campaigns (regarding making 911 calls, preventing property crimes, etc.), social events and community building activities in Stevens Square Park, and coordination with the Restorative Justice Community Action program.
Stevens Square Community Organization’s strong and active commitment to neighborhood safety and crime prevention has earned the organization legitimacy and respect with Minneapolis police and other law enforcement agencies. The neighborhood safety coordinator, funded through NRP, serves as a vital and consistent liaison between residents and law enforcement.
Perhaps most importantly, Stevens Square Community Organization’s partnership with law enforcement helps residents feel that they are not alone in dealing with neighborhood issues. SSCO’s active and extremely visible safety programs provide people with opportunities to take a measure of control of their environment by participating in solution-oriented volunteerism. The goal is thus not only the elimination of crime, but also the elimination of fatalism and paralysis in the face of crime. Even for those residents who do not directly participate in SSCO safety programs, one goal is to reduce anxiety by communicating that important, results-oriented work is being done by neighborhood residents to combat the problem.