Lighting, landlords, outreach and ordinances took top priority at a recent community forum attended by more than 170 local residents who heard Carbondale leaders outline a six-fold plan for a safer, more welcoming city.
Audience members were encouraged to present ideas at the meeting, during which city leaders identified a half-dozen keys, including enacting a nuisance ordinance, increasing police foot patrols, changing the mindset of Carbondale youth, improving lighting in the community, increasing landlord communication and expanding outreach to SIU.
Carbondale’s police department introduced the concept of a nuisance ordinance after studying others enacted in comparable jurisdictions. Together with SIU’s public safety department, the City of Carbondale Police Department (CPD) created a joint Neighborhood Patrol Program June 1, with increased foot patrols and designated vehicle teams to protect student neighborhoods. The city continues to develop safe after-school programming for youth between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., identified as a high-risk time period, with the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale (BGCC), as well as correct deficient lighting in areas adjacent to the SIU campus.
Additionally, the police department is working to enhance interaction with local landlords to anticipate problematic tenants and “party houses.” Finally, the city government will continue to meet regularly with SIU leaders to maintain open communication in an expanded outreach program.