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National Organizations Join Forces to Tackle Violent Crime

Jan 17, 2008

The National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) and the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) have teamed up with the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), U.S. Department of Justice to tackle the rise in violent crime that is afflicting a growing number of cities across the United States. They have named their initiative Celebrate Safe Communities.

The Celebrate Safe Communities project will help kick off October as Crime Prevention Month, an annual celebration. The project will strengthen the partnerships between law enforcement and communities to stem the rising tide of violence. Beginning October 2-4, 2008, communities across the country will host crime prevention events in neighborhoods, with schools, and in collaboration with local businesses.

In preparation for Crime Prevention Month 2008, the two organizations will

-- Promote the Celebrate Safe Communities project to law enforcement agencies throughout the country, especially those in communities hardest hit by the recent spikes in violent crime

-- Provide educational materials with crime prevention tips for every age from children to teens to adults

-- Encourage other public safety agencies, including fire and emergency medical services, to participate in the celebrations

-- Share planning tips for organizing successful events that promote year-round involvement in community safety initiatives

-- Develop an online resource center, including tools to help reach out to residents, recruit local support, and mobilize volunteers

-- Highlight local crime prevention success stories

-- Recognize outstanding local initiatives through an annual awards program

"The nation's sheriffs' offices have long recognized that crime prevention is a crucial component of any law enforcement effort. At NSA, we gladly embrace this new and exciting partnership with BJA, NCPC and our nation's communities," said Aaron Kennard, executive director, National Sheriffs' Association.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance, a long-standing supporter of efforts to increase public safety and educate residents about crime prevention, is providing resources and assistance for the Celebrate Safe Communities project. "Preventing crime is everyone's business and this celebration gives local law enforcement agencies the opportunity to recognize the vital efforts that residents and businesses make every day in keeping our communities safe," said Domingo S. Herraiz, director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

"This new partnership helps put the spotlight on Crime Prevention Month, a time when we focus on what works to prevent crime and recognize those communities helping to 'Take A Bite Out Of Crime' every day," said Alfonso E. Lenhardt, NCPC president and CEO. He continued, "Together, BJA, NSA and NCPC will encourage citizens to do their part to watch out and help out in the fight against crime."

NSA and NCPC together have more than 90 years of experience in preventing crime and mobilizing communities, most notably through their tireless efforts to expand citizen involvement in their local neighborhoods. They will apply that knowledge and long-standing relationship to bring together businesses, residents, and law enforcement to coordinate local crime prevention events beginning October 2, 2008, and throughout the year.

About the National Crime Prevention Council

The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) is a private, nonprofit organization whose primary mission is to be the nation's leader in helping people keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe from crime. NCPC manages public service advertising under the National Citizens' Crime Prevention Campaign--symbolized by McGruff the Crime Dog® and his "Take A Bite Out Of Crime®" slogan--and acts as secretariat for the Crime Prevention Coalition of America, more than 400 national, federal, state, and local organizations representing thousands of constituents who are committed to preventing crime. NCPC is funded through a variety of government agencies, corporate and private foundations, and donations from private individuals. For more information on crime prevention issues, visit

About the National Sheriffs' Association

The National Sheriffs' Association (NSA), now in it 68th year, is an organization comprised of 3,084 sheriffs and a membership of over 20,000. NSA is dedicated to raising the level of professionalism in the public safety field. Since its inception, NSA has developed many programs for law enforcement and citizens such as Neighborhood Watch, Triad, and Business Watch. Since 1972, NSA has managed the Neighborhood Watch program and has acted as the primary source for information and technical assistance for local law enforcement agencies on Neighborhood Watch. As the national authority on Neighborhood Watch, NSA plays a vital role in the development and dissemination of training and resources for LEAs to use in training their individual Watch Groups and officers. NSA is trusted by law enforcement and has a long history of representing the nation's sheriffs. For more information on NSA programs and Neighborhood Watch, visit and

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SOURCE: National Crime Prevention Council

CONTACT: Michelle Boykins of the National Crime Prevention Council,
+1-202-261-4184,; or Robbi Woodson of the National Sheriffs'
Association, +1-703-836-7827,

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