The newly launched National Network for Safe Communities aims to transform national crime policy within the next decade, says co-chairman Jeremy Travis, president of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Speaking at a special session of the annual National Institute of Justice (NIJ) crime conference yesterday in northern Virginia, Travis said 75 cities have been invited to join the program so far and 30 have tentatively signed on. The leading participants, he said, include Boston, Cincinnati, High Point, N.C., Milwaukee, Los Angeles and Providence.
The program was launched Monday at a U.S. Conference of Mayors conference in Providence. Travis described it as a “unique coalition of police chiefs, prosecutors, community leaders and scholars, all committed to building a new standard of practice aimed at reducing violent crimes, eliminating overt drug markets, promoting racial reconciliation between minority communities and law enforcement and reducing high levels of incarceration.” At the NIJ conference, Cincinnati police chief Tom Streicher, one of the program’s leaders, said that the strategy already has succeeeded in solving more crimes and improving police-community relations. The program, which is co-chaired by John Jay criminologist David Kennedy, was praised by a wide-ranging panel yesterday that included Glenn Ivey, chief prosecutor in Prince George’s County, Md., and Yale law Prof. Tracey Meares.