Community forum hopes to make Carbondale safer

Community forum hopes to make Carbondale safer

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - A community forum in Carbondale, Illinois is urging action to make the city safer.

On April 21, in a citizen-led initiative, a section of the Carbondale community gathered to discuss "What we can do as a community to make Carbondale safer for everyone and more welcoming?"

The committee expressed concerns with the increase in violence.

More than 175 citizens attended the forum at City Hall and 38 suggestions were offered to make Carbondale safer.

Each participant voted for their first five priorities of the suggestions. The following six items reflect that vote:

Enact a chronic nuisance ordinance: The City Council was encouraged to develop an effective and proactive ordinance that will identify and resolve problems associated with chronic nuisance properties. Participants noted that frequent contact by police and other city agencies to respond to rental properties with reoccurring complaints removes officers from other, more important work that is more impactful in reducing crime.

Increase police foot patrols: Participants indicated that police foot patrols could be used as an effective deterrent to crime as part of a comprehensive approach to community policing.

Change the mindset of youth as they deal with conflict: Speakers urged the city to help agencies and organizations in the area that address the needs of youth at all ages. Randy Osborn of the Boys and Girls Club has volunteered to help lead the effort.

Improve street lighting in the community: Participants in the forum suggested that the city and Ameren work together to help fight crime by installing and maintaining better lighting in high-crime areas.

Develop landlord/property manager communication with the city regarding nuisance properties: Participants in the forum suggested that criminal activity is sometimes identified with specific properties. They urged the city to develop a partnership with landlords to identify problem properties and to immediately communicate problems associated with those properties.

Expand community outreach to SIU students: A joint committee could be instituted to identify community outreach activities that might be useful in fostering positive interaction between residents of the city and SIU students.

The Carbondale Community Forum is a wholly citizen-led ad hoc organization. They say future forums are under consideration.

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