Drugs, prostitution, burglaries, and other crimes dominated the River Bend area of Des Moines, Iowa, for years before the Neighborhood Based Service Delivery program started, says the Tacoma (Wa.) News Tribune. “We went from having drug dealers on three of four corners to the point where you never see them,” said Roger Thompson, president of the River Bend Neighborhood Association. “Now my neighborhood is incredibly safe.” The partnership among police officers, firefighters, city code enforcers and residents “is the best thing that ever hit the City of Des Moines,” Thompson said.
Under Tacoma City Manager Eric Anderson, who crafted Des Moines' program when he led that city, a pilot program that will mold itself to the needs of residents in four Tacoma neighborhoods will begin this month. Teams of police and building inspectors, along with by economic development employees, human rights and services workers, firefighters, and other city employees, will work with residents on neighborhood issues. They'll focus their crime and nuisance eradication efforts on problems big and small.