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Mayor John Hamilton Announces Downtown Safety, Civility and Justice Initiatives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2016

For more information, please contact:
Mary Catherine Carmichael, Communications Director, 812.349.3406, carmichm@bloomington.in.gov

Mayor John Hamilton Announces Downtown Safety, Civility and Justice Initiatives

Bloomington, Ind. - Today Mayor John Hamilton announced six steps being implemented in an effort to respond to concerns about the safety and civility of the downtown area and to promote long-term initiatives encouraging opportunities, fairness and justice.The steps include:

  • Establishment of the Downtown Safety and Civility Dialogue and Deliberation Project through the Community and Justice Mediation Center (CJAM).
  • Installation of six surveillance cameras in four areas identified as being high-incident locations by the Bloomington Police Department. Those areas include the B-Line Trail areas directly south of Grimes Lane and north of Fairview Street, as well as Seminary and People's Parks.
  • Enhanced presence of law enforcement officers in the downtown area.
  • Appropriate enforcement of existing state statutes related to panhandling.
  • Creation of a public information campaign to encourage residents who want to help those in need to contribute to social service agencies providing services rather than directly on the street.
  • Formation of the Downtown Safety, Civility and Justice Task Force to be comprised of social service providers, downtown business owners, law enforcement and the public to study the results of the CJAM process, best practices and other research and submit recommendations to Mayor Hamilton by April, 2017.

At the press conference, Mayor Hamilton said, "We will work together to make sure our community is a safe place, yes. Absolutely. And we will also work together to determine what we can do to assure that no children grow up homeless in our city. To identify gaps in services to those suffering mental illness, or addiction, or deep poverty, and do our best to fill those gaps. I know we can't pretend that our community can solve every major ill. But we can take steps to improve the situation."

Hamilton's complete remarks can be found at: bloomington.in.gov/safetyandcivility.

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