City of Lakewood launches ‘Safe Place Initiative’ to help victims of underreported crimes
LAKEWOOD, Ohio (WOIO) - Lakewood launched their Safe Place Initiative Wednesday to provide “safe places” throughout the city for victims and those at risk of hate crimes, harassment and bullying.
The program, led by the Lakewood Police Department, was first developed by the Seattle Police Department. Lakewood is one of the first cities in Ohio to adopt the program.
The Safe Place initiative is a community-based approach to safety that helps to build relationships and assist victims of crimes that tend to be underreported, such as hate crimes and harassment.
The initiative has been adopted by over 300 police departments across the US and beyond.
“The City of Lakewood is always exploring innovative methods to address safety holistically and to be a welcoming community for our residents and visitors,” said Mayor Meghan George. “This initiative helps to build relationships between our businesses, community, and police department and to send the message that Lakewood takes these issues seriously and will address them proactively.”
Businesses and organizations interested in participating in the initiative can contact the Lakewood Police Department for a brief training and receive a branded Safe Place sticker that will be placed prominently on the window or door indicating they are a Safe Place.
“When an individual sees a Safe Place sticker, they know that there are people inside who care and that they can come through the door and access help immediately,” said Patrol Officer Arianna Zuk, who helped develop Lakewood’s program. “We hope the initiative will encourage real-time reporting of these incidents which will enable us to respond quickly and efficiently and make our community a safer place for everyone.”
Businesses and organizations interested in becoming a Safe Place can visit this website for more information.
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