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Neighborhood Security: The Role of the Community and the Role of the Police

Neighborhood Security
​​This is a video book in which each chapter is the story of how communities and neighborhoods have worked to increase security and decrease violence. Each story is told by a person involved in the initiative. There are two kinds of stories. The first describes how local residents have used their own neighborhood resources to increase local security. The second kind involves police officials who have used their position to support neighborhood efforts to increase security. The viewer can listen to all the stories or select those of greatest interest.

Part 1: The Role of the Community

Diane LatikerChapter 1 - Diane Latiker is a 30-year resident of the Roseland community on the far south side of Chicago. "Ms. Diane" founded the award winning and internationally recognized organization Kids Off the Block, Inc. (KOB) in her home in July of 2003. Ms. Diane was given this vision through her mother, Evangelist Ruth Jackson. Ms. Jackson, saw that the youth in the neighborhood liked and respected her daughter. Looking at the children that were always at her home, Ms. Diane saw health professionals, doctors, lawyers, professional musicians, professional sports figures, politicians, and actresses, and the list goes on. Ms. Diane believed that she could make a difference in the community, and in the many youth that she came in contact with daily. She became encouraged and opened up her home to get these young people off the streets and involved in programs that would benefit them for the rest of their lives. KOB started out with ten neighborhood kids, and now has impacted thousands of lives through love, compassion, nurturing and respect.

Robbie Wilkerson Chapter 2 - Reverend Robbie Wilkerson is a founder of MAC MAN. His is an organization developing a program to engage men who are residents on each of the blocks in their neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago. These men act as local peacemakers and mentors of young men in the neighborhood. Their initial focus is the reduction of violence in the neighborhood.

Phil JacksonChapter 3 - Pastor Phil Jackson has served God full-time in urban youth ministry for over 30 years. In 2003, Pastor Phil planted a church called The House, a hip-hop worship service. The House has been featured on BET, Fox News Chicago, MSNBC Nightly News, PBS, WGN, Jet (2006), Ebony (2010), Campus Life (2005), The New York Times, and the Chicago Sun-Times. Phil is founder and CEO of the Firehouse Community Arts Center, a converted 100-year-old Chicago Firehouse, preventing and interrupting violence through the arts and faith, moving young men 18-25 toward workforce development, education, wholistic transformation and empowerment with dance, culinary arts, music, film and visual arts. He co-authored the book, “The Hip-Hop Church,” and was praised as “one of the most superbly gifted youth ministers I have ever met" by Dr. Michael Eric Dyson.

Sokoni Karanja Chapter 4 - Dr. Sokoni Karanja recently stepped down from his role as President and CEO of the Center for New Horizons to begin a new endeavor as President of 2016 MA’AT. He has founded this new organization with the belief that people who better know and understand each other are less likely to become violent towards each other. 2016 MA’AT then, will focus on the moderation and eventual elimination of violence by forging and strengthening unity in Chicago’s neighborhoods of color. Its mission, in a word, is “peace.” Dr. Karanja is married to Loyola University professor Ayana Karanja, Ph.D. and is the father of seven. A native of Topeka, Kansas, Dr. Karanja, in his formative years, was witness to the grassroots strategy meeting that led to Brown vs. the Board of Education, and began his first organizing experience by galvanizing support for desegregating his neighborhood movie theater. Dr. Karanja holds three master’s degrees (psychology, social work, and community development), and earned his Ph.D. in urban planning from Brandeis University.

Part 2: Police Transformation

Mike ButlerChapter 5 - Mike Butler was the Police Chief in Longmont, Colorado for 26 years. During that time he engaged in a series of initiatives that were based on the knowledge that residents in neighborhoods are waiting to contribute their talents to resolve community issues usually thought of as police responsibilities. As a result, the literal function of police officers shifted from law enforcement to primarily building relationships in communities resulting in dramatic decreases in calls for police response.

Vanessa WestleyChapter 6 - Officer Vanessa Westley is a recently retired twenty-eight-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department. She has served in various positions within the Department’s Patrol Division and other units. She began her service in Community Policing in 2004 under now-retired First Deputy Dana V. Starks, as project manager in the Department’s Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) Project Office. She later served as project manager for the Mayor’s Office of Faith Based and Community Partnerships and program manager for the Chicago Police Department’s and the Metro YMCA’s “Bridging the Divide” program. She was the special projects coordinator for the CAPS Revitalization effort launched in 2013. She led the community engagement training program for the Department through DePaul University’s Center for Urban Education. Vanessa is a Restorative Justice and Art of Hosting practitioner and trainer.

David Couper Chapter 7 - David Couper was the Chief of Police in Madison, Wisconsin for 21 years. He is nationally known for his leadership in transforming a police force from law enforcement to peacekeeping. Chief Couper has written two books: Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption, and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation’s Police, and How to Rate Your Local Police: A User Guide for Civic, Governmental and Police Leaders.