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Administration official stresses joint solutions to law enforcement.

Lee Brown, well known chief law enforcement officer in three large cities and so-called "drug czar" for the Clinton Administration came to NLC headquarters to work with state and local leaders to formulate effective strategies to improve quality of life through better public safety measures.

Brown attended the September 24 meeting at the invitation of NLC Second Vice President Carolyn Long Banks, councilwoman from Atlanta.

"There is reason to be optimistic,"Brown told his fellow participants, "if we have the will to work together to tackle the tough issues," despite the grim statistic about continued hard core drug use and related crime and violence.

The meeting in Washington represented a rare opportunity for three levels of government and municipal associations to meet and work together toward the type of joint solutions the Administration seeks to derive.

Brown shared his observations on the direction in which the Clinton Administration will focus its strategies for dealing with drug abuse problems within communities, and explained that the emphasis will be on joint solutions.

Although Congress has approved the President's request for supplemental funding that will place more police officers on the streets, Brown cautioned: "it's not just more police officers, but how the police will be used. The Administration's approach will be to use them under the concept of community policing."

Brown defined community policing as "a partnership between the police and the people in the neighborhoods, designed to jointly determine what are the problems in that neighborhood and jointly determine what are the best strategies to solve those problems; to use the combined resources of the police and other government agencies and private sectors to solve problems."

"We need to energize the business community to participate in real job development which produces a career," he said. "We need to communicate clearly that criminality is not acceptable and work together to create an environment where the opportunity for changes and a brighter future is possible."

Public Safety is the topic for the 1994 NLC Advisory Council's Futures Process. To kick off the year long study of public safety and the future of this traditional local government responsibility, Long Banks convened the meeting, bringing together this unique, intergovernmental gathering of public safety experts.

The Advisory Council will devote the next year to researching and reporting as well as conducting meetings, workshops, and other activities around the public safety topic.

Regardless of the size or composition of the communities they serve, "the common goal of each [law enforcement agency] is to provide a sense of well-being for the constituents local officials represent," Banks said, elaborating on her mission statement to develop the framework for the 1994 Futures topic.

"My statutory responsibility is to put together this country's national drug control policy for the President, Congress, and the American People," Brown said. He expects to have a full-blown strategy prepared by February of next year.

Describing the interim drug control strategy, Brown spoke about the connection between drugs and crime, emphasizing that many of the problems experienced by our communities across the nation are influenced by the drug epidemic. The Administration's initiatives will focus on law enforcement, education, treatment and prevention.'

Participants agreed that "public safety" needs to be redefined and that local elected officials should advocate greater neighborhood involvement and wide spread collaboration among all levels of government as they seek to ensure the "well-being" of their communities.

The meeting was attended by the following: NLC Executive Director Don Borut; NLC Deputy Executive Director Christine Becker; Advisory Council Vice Chair Margaret Carpenter, mayor of Thornton, Colo.; and Advisory Council members Joe Jackson, mayor of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Thomas X. White, councilmember of Greenbelt, Md.; and Brian O'Neill, councilmember of Philadelphia, Pa. Also participating were: Terry Modglin and Faye Warren of the National Crime Prevention Council; Roy Kime of the International Association of Chiefs of Police; Doug Brown and Sylin Bynoe of the Intenational Association of Fire Chiefs; Henry Tomes of the American Psychological Association; Loretta Tate of Marshall Heights Fighting Back; and Hal Williams former director of the Washington, D.C. Department of Corrections.
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Title Annotation:Lee Brown
Author:Cheek, Dorothy; Barnes, William
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Oct 4, 1993
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