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NLC names ten Innovation Awards winners.

Ten winners were selected for this year's Innovation Awards competition, entitled "Celebrating Innovation in Local Government Criminal Justice Programs. " The judging of the ninety-nine entries was completed on Wednesday, September 29, in an eight-hour session by a panel of experts in the criminal justice field.

The Innovation Awards will be presented to winning communitities at NLC's Congress of Cities Conference in Orlando, Florida, during the first week of December.

The judges selected seven programs to receive awards for the category of "innovation," denoting recognition for a practical, novel approach to solving an problem and/or delivering services. Three programs received exemplary" status, because they demonstrated a successful application of an existing service delivery model.

Winners of Awards of Innovation were Anderson, Ind.; Fairfax County, Va.; Garland, Tex.; Maryland Heights, Mo.; Oxnard, Calif.; Portland, Maine; and Union City, Ga.

Exemplary category award winners were: Westminster, Calif.; Cottage Grove, Minn.; and Brighton, Colo.

Anderson, Ind.

The Mayor's Commission on Domestic Violence was selected because it demonstrates a unique symbiotic relationship between the public and private sectors of the Anderson community. The self-supporting, all-volunteer commission promotes awareness of domestic violence through an aggressive community-wide campaign. Members of the commission are appointed by city officials. The commission's fundraising and educational endeavors have provided the community with a valuable public service at no cost to the local government.

Fairlax County, Va.

The Child Sexual Abuse Response Team was selected for its development of a team of doctors, nurses, and law enforcement officials specially trained and equipped to respond to and investigate reported cases of child sexual abuse. The county with support from private donations has established a room in the local private hospital which provides a nonthreatening, child friendly atmosphere for examination and questioning of victims. The program has eliminated the traditional long and frightening wait in emergency rooms and through the collaboration of the investigations has reduced the trauma of repeated questioning of the already traumatized victim.

Garland, Tex.

The Garland Police Department Apartment Manager's Group illustrates a combined, organized effort between a Police Department and a group of local apartment managers to clean up some of the community's most crime-ridden complexes. During regular meetings the managers are informed of their rights, duties and responsibilities and are provided a forum to share problems ans solutions with both the police and their peers. As a result the managers have been successful in evicting problem tenants and have reduced crime in and around their complexes.

Maryland Heights, Mo.

Community Bridges emerged in the St. Louis area in 1992 amidst the media blitz surrounding the Rodney King trial, representing the area's renewed commitment to improve communication between its police and citizens. Comprised of a diverse group of police officials and private citizens representing the St. Louis County area, the task force drafted a set of recommendations designed to better serve the needs of its diverse population, including the establishment of voluntary affirmative action programs and sensitivity awareness programs within the department.

Oxnard, Calif.

The Civilian Crime Prevention Program was selected because it presents a unique, low-cost means of educating citizens on crime prevention techniques using an available government access television channel. The weekly program offers a live studio phone line for viewer questions and highlights crime statistics in particular areas twice a month, consistently resulting in decreasing crime rates for these areas.

Portland, Maine

The Diversity Leadership Institute, created by the Portland Police Department in 1991, was selected for its innovative approach in promoting the ethnic inclusion of new, non-enfranchised immigrants to the United States by reaching out to local junior and senior high school students. At regularly scheduled meetings, the Institute brings student leaders together to discuss mechanisms for creating programs and media campaigns designed to combat racism and achieve ethnic and racial understanding in schools and communities as well as at home.

Union City, Ga.

The Reserve Officer Drug Enforcement Team was selected for its unique, low-cost drug enforcement program. This program uses a team of unpaid police reserve officers in place of full-time police personnel, to conduct drug buys within the area.

Brighton, Colo.

Selected for its program which integrates the "customer service principles" into the job of policing, Brighton's program includes the use of surveys, thank you notes and questionaire to improve the quality of service it provides.

Cottage Grove, Minn.

The Parkside Community Oriented Policing Program has developed a comprehensive community policing program designed to bridge the gap between the urban neighborhood and its law enforcement agencies. The program established a resident council elected by the residents which also includes representative from various city agencies. The resident representatives who are provided rent reductions, working with the other city representatives of the council set priorities and plan programs not only for policing but also for the provision of health, recreational and human services to the community.

Westminster, Calif.

The Tri-Agency Resource Gang Enforcement Team was selected for its illustration of a successful interagency approach utilizing the strength of civil, as well as criminal law in impeding the growth of this southern California city's gangs. Bolstering the justice system with an additional Investigator, Deputy District Attorney and Probation Officer has improved the communities ability to successfully prosecute gang related cases and has helped save police resources.
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Title Annotation:National League of Cities
Author:Diamont, Dave
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Oct 25, 1993
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