AmeriCorps members, residents, and the Detroit Police Department work together to make their neighborhood a safer place. These patrols deter crime by their presence, ability to write down and even radio local police by community-oriented policing. People being on the street has been shown to deter crime.
The Patrol is able to cover several blocks, but still at a pace that creates of sense of activity on the streets. Bike watch is a weekly ride that aims to create a friendly presence in the heart of our city.
Block Clubs and Community Patrols
Block Clubs are all about positive change, block by block. When you know your neighbors, you care more about them. When you care more about your neighbors, you are more willing to help them. Relationships develop, and we begin to form a real community. Developing a sense of community with others on our block will allow us to share information and ideas. When we are all united for a common cause- the betterment of the neighborhood where we live, work, and raise our families- we can accomplish great things.
And it’s not all about hard work and getting things done- although that is indeed part of it. As we get to know one another, we can plan events for the block that everyone can enjoy. Building community is not just planting flowers, passing around petitions, and cleaning up litter- it’s sharing meals, laughter, and enjoying each other’s company.
Why join the block?
- There is strength in numbers;
- To socialize and build relationships with your neighbors;
- To collectively address crime and safety issues;
- To stay informed about community events;
- To meet with city and police officials;
- Write grants that improve the neighborhood;
- Plan neighborhood events;
- Find out about volunteer opportunities;
- Develop leadership skills and get training;
- Create a telephone tree or GroupMe text group to better communicate.
Ready to start or join a block club?
If you think you are ready to start or join a block club on your block the AmeriCorps Urban Safety Program has resources to make sure your block club is a success for residents in our target areas. If you are not in one of our target areas we may be able to connect you with resources in your neighborhood.
Please contact us at email@example.com
Members will work with neighborhood resident groups to lead and/or assist in community organizing:
Recruit community members on two levels: block (block clubs by streets) and neighborhood (community patrols by area).
Recruit tenants in high-rise/apartment buildings to form “tenant organizations” parallel to single-home block club groups.
Work with residents, neighborhood organizations, and businesses in targeted areas to establish community safety collaboratives (CSCs) as a forum for public safety initiatives, including the COMPSTAT process
Recruit neighborhood volunteers to lead and administer ongoing safety initiatives, including Block Clubs and Community Patrols for sustainability
Provide residents in areas of high reports of auto theft with Car Clubs, which work as a deterrent for auto theft.
- Provide residents in areas of high reports of auto theft with Wheel Locks, which work as a deterrent for wheels or tires being stolen.
- VIN-Etching: VIN-Etching is where the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN Number) is etched into every window on your vehicle. If your vehicle has VIN etching, a thief would need to change out all of the glass on the vehicle, which is expensive and acts as a deterrent to stealing your car. VIN etched vehicles have a 65% lower theft rate versus non-etched vehicles as well as an 85% better chance of recovery if stolen.
Home Safety Assessment
Our Home Safety Assessment (HSA) program was created in 2010 as a joint effort between AMUS, Wayne State University Center for Urban Studies, FEMA, Detroit Fire Department, Clear Corps, and Kohl’s Injury Prevention Program through the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
AmeriCorps members conduct a risk (home) assessment survey to determine if a resident’s home is vulnerable to being targeted for crimes such as burglary. After identifying potential risks, the member educates the resident on how to protect their home, and provides the resident with deadbolt locks, carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms, window and door alarms, and energy-efficient lighting- all free of charge. This service also includes free installation.
In 2017, AmeriCorps members conducted over 2,500 HSAs citywide. For the 2018 grant year, we have been funded to complete 66 HSAs in each precinct of Detroit. This means that any Detroit resident has access to a Home Safety Assessment while supplies last. For more information please contact your precinct representative.
Understanding that children cannot thrive if they do not feel safe in the places they live, walk, and attend school, the second layer of protection is to increase the actual and perceived safety of children through Safe Routes to School.
The 2014 Motor City Parcel Mapping Survey indicates there are 27,485 structures throughout the City with an open point-of-entry, such as a broken or missing window or unsecured door. Of these structures, surveyors believe 93% are unoccupied.
Studies show that vacant structures are the strongest predictor of assault risk when compared to nearly a dozen other risk indicators (Branas et al., 2012). Mitigating structural blight, as well as the presence of caring adults positioned along pathways to and from school.
AMUS members conduct walking and bus route observations and survey parents, school staff, and students. They identify public safety hazards along these routes, such as open, abandoned buildings and non-working street lights.
Once these surveys are complete, members take steps to remedy them by partnering with community members to create block clubs and patrols and mobilizing volunteers to board up vacant and open structures, mark safe routes with metal signs clamped to telephone poles and crosswalks painted with reflective striping and stenciled yellow footprints.
Contact us to find out more about safe routes, or find out how to start one in your community.
Why do we have Anti-Crime/Peace Walks?
- To promote the city’s green light program to locations that have high crime reports
- To help community partners/stakeholders, and residents encourage high-crime business locations to become a greenlight initiative.
Why do we leaflet?
- To promote upcoming meetings and events (e.g. board-ups, block clubs, community meetings)
- To advertise resources available to community members/residents (e.g. VIN etching, steering wheel clubs, home safety assessments)
- To share safety tips and to inform residents of recent crime trends in their area (e.g. auto theft prevention, burglaries, larcenies)