Outstanding National Service - AmeriCorps Urban Safety Program
Outstanding National Service Program Award: honors organizations that provide a high-quality national service program that yields a significant impact in a Michigan community.
AmeriCorps Urban Safety Program of Detroit has been helping make Detroit a safer place since 2010. AmeriCorps members use Detroit Police Department crime data to identify hot spots of criminal activity and, using the data, the group determines ways to make improvements. One of the program’s main components is the Safe Pathways to Schools initiative, which identifies walkways frequented by students and improves them by boarding up abandoned houses or improving lighting. The program has helped reduce crime in Detroit by 26 percent, saving $3.25 million in the overall cost of crimes. Since its inception, the program has engaged 20,000 residents, boarded up more than 1,500 homes, and provided services to more than 600 domestic abuse survivors. “This work is important because it provides assistance toward reducing crime, and it sustains reductions by encouraging crime prevention and community involvement. The mission of the Detroit Police Department is to be a model of sustained policing excellence that places our neighborhoods and people first,” said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.