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Page last updated on September 6, 2021 at 10:21 am

In August 2016, the City undertook an initiative to help our downtown look, feel and become safer. Through this initiative, we've engaged community members, taken steps to minimize aggressive panhandling and harassment and formed a task force that will be making recommendations for further action.

The overarching value related to this initiative is justice ~ that all residents of our community regardless of income, education or housing status will be treated in a way that is fair and just as we work to make the downtown a place where all feel welcomed. If you would like to give input, we invite you to complete this survey

  • August 9, 2016 Mayor Hamilton to Announce Downtown Safety and Civility Efforts.

  • August 9, 2016 Campaign created to encourage donors to give directly to agencies addressing hunger, shelter addiction and mental health issues. (Bloomington Gives launched)

  • August 10, 2016 Mayor Hamilton holds news conference announcing Safety, Civility and Justice Initiative. 

  • Webpage outlining legal panhandling vs. aggressive panhandling and recommendations for addressing aggressive panhandling. 

  • October 3, 2016 Mayor Hamilton Updates Progress on Downtown Initiatives.

  • October 5, 2016 Anti-panhandling signs posted.

  • October 13, 2016 Locations of anti-panhandling signs from H-T Map

  • October, 2016 Community Justice and Mediation Center contracted to create and implement process for gathering information from all segments of community on their perceptions of safety downtown

  • Deliberative Dialogue Stage One begins ~ Nearly 200 community members invited to participate in Focus Groups to discuss perceptions and observations related to downtown safety. Focus groups were: People experiencing homelessness and/or panhandling community, advocacy and community organizations, businesses, local government, the justice system, service organizations, and patrons.

  • October 28, 2016 Stage One Report completed

  • October 30, 2016: Indiana Recovery Alliance relocates services from People's Park

  • November 4, 2016: Deliberative Dialogue Stage Two Process takes place ~ Large group stakeholder dialogue comprised of delegates who had participated in a State 1 Focus Group and had volunteered or been nominated by their peers to continue to Stage 2. Participants engaged in brainstorming and prioritizing ideas for actions that organizations or agencies in the public, private and non-profit sector s could take.

  • November 29, 2016 Downtown Safety, Civility and Justice Initiative Seeks Public Input / Safety, Civility and Justice Task Force named. 

  • December 3, 2016 Deliberative Dialogue Stage Three Public Meeting. H-T article covering the December 3rd meeting.

  • December 13, 2016 Task Force Expands: Members are (Chair) William Beggs ~ Bunger & Robertson Attorneys at Law, Linda Grove Paul ~ Centerstone, Randy Lloyd ~ T.M. Crowley & Associates, Donald Griffin, Jr. - Griffin Realty, Talisha Coppock ~ Downtown Bloomington, Inc., Barry Lessow ~ United Way, Wendy Hernandez ~ IU Health Bloomington, Kirk White ~ Indiana University, Forrest Gilmore ~ Shalom Community Center, Susan Rinne ~ LifeDesigns

  • Staff: Beverly Calender-Anderson, Community & Family Resources Department Director, Chief Michael Diekhoff, Bloomington Police Department

  • January, 2017 Cameras installed in People's Park and Seminary Park. Other cameras can be deployed to areas of concern as needed.

  • February, 2017: Final Report on Deliberative Dialogue Process issued. The full report is available upon request. Send request to

  • February 16, 2017: Safety, Civility and Justice Task Force begins meeting.

  • April 27, 2017: Downtown Safety, Civility and Justice Task Force Update

  • July 27, 2017: Mayor Hamilton remarks on the progress of the Safety, Civility and Justice Task Force Recommendations.

  • July 27, 2017: Mayor Announces New Community Initiatives Addressing Downtown Challenges