UC Review: West Philadelphia Community-Police Partnership Recognized with $20,000 National Safety Award

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

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MetLife Foundation honors University City alliance reducing crime and revitalizing neighborhood

University City District (UCD) and the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) will be honored by MetLife Foundation for their extraordinary partnership to improve community safety on Monday, November 4, 10am at the UCD office and Philadelphia Police 18th District substation located at 3940 Chestnut Street. MetLife Managing Director David Fleisher presented the partners with the award.

This partnership was selected from more than 540 applicants nationwide for a MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership Award, a program administered by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The partners’ collaborative approach to revitalize the community through a place-based and data-driven approach caught the attention of the national selection committee comprised of police commanders, community development executives and LISC staff.

"Collaboration between community-based groups and police departments can reduce crime, stimulate housing and business activity, and improve the quality of life in lower-income neighborhoods," added Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. "The Philadelphia partnership is an exemplary model for groups nationwide facing similar challenges and opportunities."

The work of UCD and the PPD has grown significantly over the years and has sustained crime declines for their target area. This is the second time the partners are being honored by MetLife Foundation and LISC. In 2004, UCD and the PPD were recognized for their successful revitalization and safety work for the Baltimore Avenue Commercial Corridor Initiative. They are now being recognized with an award in Neighborhood Revitalization and Economic Vitality for the Multi-Institution and Police District Public Safety Partnership.

"UCD recently completely a 15-year analysis of crime trends in the neighborhood, and determined that—while serious crime in the entire city has fallen by more than 20% since 1998—serious crime in University City has been cut in half over that same time period. Even more significant drops were observed in the occurrence of quality of life crimes across several categories. This stands as a testament to the incredible partnership between the Philadelphia Police Department and UCD, as well as the major investment in policing and public safety by Penn, Drexel and many other University City institutions. As always, we’re happy to play a supporting role to all of our partners through UCD’s ambassador program and public safety initiatives," said UCD executive director Matt Bergheiser.

The partnership between University City District and the Philadelphia Police Department combines data analysis, community engagement, coordinated deployment and community revitalization. It is a best practice in integrated community safety and community development,» said Andrew Frishkoff, Director of LISC›s local office in Philadelphia. Philadelphia LISC is proud to work alongside these two excellent partners and we congratulate them on their well-deserved MetLife Foundation award.

University City District (UCD) is a partnership of universities, small businesses and residents dedicated to improving economic vitality and quality of life. UCD fulfills this mission of community revitalization through several interconnected efforts and a longstanding relationship with law enforcement. UCD and the Philadelphia Police Department have developed shared goals of day-to-day responsive deployment and long-term crime data analysis. UCD, representatives from two police districts, and other partners regularly gather for deployment meetings to assess crime and determine the need for increased patrol presence, distribution of alerts to the community, and to discuss ongoing challenges. UCD also partners with the University City Safety Group, which coordinates monthly meetings of the 19 agencies responsible for safety in University City, including the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, AMTRAK, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the IRS, and the FBI.