U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Role of Local Government in Community Safety

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2001
71 pages
Publication Series
Prepared for mayors, city managers, planners, and elected officials, this monograph presents information drawn from around the United States and the world regarding ways that public officials have used their authority to foster safer, healthier communities.
The focus on a comprehensive approach to community safety under the leadership of mayors and other local officials has emerged under the recognition by community leaders that community safety is based on the eradication of the social and economic conditions that foster criminal behavior and victimization. This requires that governments, communities, and partnerships at all levels be actively engaged in addressing problems that bear on community safety and health. Municipal leaders play a crucial role in protecting communities by organizing and motivating coalitions of local partners. A framework for promoting community safety that has emerged in recent years can be used by local governments. This framework recognizes crime and safety as quality-of-life issues and involves working across jurisdictional boundaries both horizontally and vertically. Further, it recognizes the crucial role of political leadership. The framework adapts strategies to local needs on the basis of thorough analysis and targeted plans. Additionally, it builds capacity and develops tools and measurements of success. Based on this framework, this monograph discusses the leadership, strategies, and tools needed to bring about needed change that will enhance community safety; provides examples of city-led projects; and cites lessons learned from past practice. 56 references and a list of 17 resources

Date Published: April 1, 2001