Preventing Crime is Everyone’s Business

By Valerie Mariano, Branch Chief, Community and Crime Prevention Branch, Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance Division, Department of the Attorney General, State of Hawaii

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No longer is preventing crime the job of only law enforcement. Rather, making our communities safe and healthy requires a multi-sector, village approach.  It is important for individuals to understand that each person living and working in our community can make a difference on the development of resilient youth, so they can become leaders in our society.  Everyone from law enforcement, teachers, school administrators, custodians, cafeteria workers, volunteers, coaches, music and art instructors, health professionals, business leaders, and others in the community can be a positive contributor to the safety and well-being of young people.

 As we work with those in crime prevention, substance abuse prevention, sexual assault prevention, violence prevention, etc.—partnership is key. 

 What are the components of such a partnership? 

•             It takes time.

•             Face-to-face meetings develop trusting relationships.

•             Respect for the other party/agency/organization partner is critical.

•             You need to know you can count on others to participate equally through their contribution of staff or material resources, funding, etc.

•             People need to trust that any communication to the public will show each party/agency/organization as an equal partner (and no one will take sole credit for a good job done).

•             Words must be followed by action.

•             There can be no hidden agendas, and…

•             Communication with all players is key!