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The L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award

The L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award

The COPS Office is pleased to announce Columbia Heights, Minnesota Police Chief Scott Lewis Nadeau and Columbia Heights Superintendent Kathy L. Kelly as the winners of the 2015 L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award.

The Sutin Civic Imagination Award recognizes the efforts of collaborative partnerships within the community. This honor is bestowed upon a team of law enforcement and community members whose innovative civic interactions have transformed public safety in their community. Nominees are those actively engaged with the community in a multifaceted manner that has been sustained over time and has resulted in positive, observable public safety outcomes.

An ideal nominee:

Columbia Heights Chief Scott Lewis Nadeau and Columbia Heights Superintendent Kathy Kelly developed a strategic partnership between the police department and the school district. Together, they invested in the community and schools to improve and meet the specific needs of the students.

Overall, the leadership and partnership of Superintendent Kelly and Chief Nadeau has created a positive and strong response prior to a critical incident. Their passion for safety and the well-being of the community embodies all of the principles of the L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award.

For their great work and dedication to the community, the COPS Office congratulates Chief Nadeau and Superintendent Kelly on winning the 2015 L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award!

2014 – Corporal Michael Nelson, Corporal Robert Reu, Corporal Sylee Gibson, Corporal Angela Ison, Corporal James Spartz, and Corporal William Pschigoda, East Naples COPS Unit, Collier County (FL) Sheriff's Office; and Interim Director Jean Jourdan, Bayshore/Gateway Triangle Community Redevelopment Area

The East Naples COPS Unit and Interim Director Jean Jourdan formed the Bayshore Triangle Project task force to target the problems in the Bayshore area. This successful task force transformed a community riddled with crime and struggling with disorder into a thriving, healthy community.

The partnership continues to grow and strengthen by including other East Naples COPS deputies, Code Enforcement, the Community Redevelopment Area, and other government/community organizations. In addition, the ideas and strategies used in this project have been taken and used in other areas of East Naples and Collier County in order to promote community growth, build partnerships, and breakdown the barriers between law enforcement and the public.

The team displayed strong civil leadership by focusing on community input and problem solving to improve the community. The project institutionalized remarkable public safety outcomes that are sustainable, positive, and observable. There has been a 47 percent decrease in calls for service, an increase in commercial growth, and an increase in cultural events since the start of the project.

The team has promoted public safety through a dedication to problem solving, partnerships, and community transformation, all critical components of community policing. Overall, the Bayshore Triangle project has truly optimized the community policing principles by improving the community's quality of life and civic engagement through innovative partnerships and problem solving.

2013 – Chief Dwight E. Henninger, Vail (CO) Police Department, and Coordinator Megan McGee Bonta, Catholic Charities

Together, Chief of Police Henninger and Coordinator Bonta honored the community through their vision, courage, transformative efforts, and civic imagination. They have worked selflessly and with great dedication for the last three years on growing the Eagle County Law Enforcement Immigration Advisory Initiative, which they launched in 2009. Henninger and Bonta also promoted the formation of the Eagle County Law Enforcement Immigrant Advisory Committee (LEIAC).

The LEIAC program provides case management and referral services, mediation assistance, and civic workshops and advocates on the immigrant's behalf to ensure the protection of their rights. The committee includes representatives from each local law enforcement agency collaborating with immigrant advocates who oversee, coordinate, and contribute to the Eagle County LEIAC.

Overall, Henninger and Bonta initiated—and still maintain—an innovative program for a complicated and important topic. They created a strong foundation of partnerships for a broad-based coalition, with strong buy-in from all levels of law enforcement. This initiative has established an ongoing venue for the community and is being replicated by other communities.

2012 – Former-Chief James Fealy, High Point (NC) Police Department, and President Gretta Bush, High Point Community Against Violence

In 2003, then-Chief of Police James Fealy met with David Kennedy, a professor with the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, to discuss his theory of shutting down drug markets. The first chief to hear Kennedy's idea, Fealy took a chance and formed a collaboration to implement the strategy. Together with Gretta Bush, president of High Point Community Against Violence, they implemented what would become known as the High Point Drug Market Intervention (DMI) Strategy, a police-community partnership and focused deterrent strategy that addresses violent crime and illicit drug dealing. DMI effectively collapsed overt drug markets, dramatically reduced violent crime associated with those markets, and required few arrests. The strategy has also been credited with building police-community trust, racial reconciliation, and community transformation.

The measurable results of this strategy are just as impressive. High Point experienced a 34 percent reduction in violent crime since 2003. Some neighborhoods, such as the West End, saw violent crime fall by as much as 57 percent. These numbers have been sustained for over 7 years. Recently, High Point reported just three homicides a year for a population of roughly 104,000 citizens. Fealy retired in February 29, 2012, after the partnership he formed closed five drug markets in High Point.

The winning element of this project was the collaboration between Fealy and the community. Fealy and Bush demonstrated exceptional community policing and leadership by not only bringing community members together to address these problems but also allowing residents to have a role in implementing a solution. Public meetings were held to share police and community narratives, reconcile differences, and share information about the strategy. DMI required significant courage and trust on the part of both Fealy and the community and solidified the police-community partnership in High Point. This core community policing philosophy has been applied to other public safety programs and has been replicated by numerous jurisdictions around the country.

2011 – Lieutenant Dean Richard Isabella, Providence (RI) Police Department, and Executive Director Frank Shea, Olneyville Housing Corporation

Lieutenant Dean Richard Isabella has come to know the residents and youth of Olneyville and has actively engaged other partners in the Olneyville housing project. Between 2002 and 2007, police calls for service dropped 85.6 percent in the area surrounding the park and stayed low throughout 2010, without crime displacement. After an unsettling fire in March 2011, Isabella brought the Providence Police Chief, Olneyville Housing Corporation, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation together to create a foreclosure response project. Isabella has worked with these organizations to develop a number of strategies to decrease the impact of a distressed economy by addressing vacant and unmaintained nuisance properties. Executive Director Frank Shea, Olneyville Housing Corporation, integrated both corporations' experience with renovating and developing housing opportunities for low-income residents with Isabella's vision to create an innovative, effective way to transform the community's quality of life and improve safety. Although a lot of individuals are needed to revitalize a neighborhood, Isabella and Shea created an environment in which to foster this opportunity.

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