Palm Springs Police is cracking down on crime in the city, and they want residents and businesses to get involved in the process.
Police will be holding two seminars later this week, emphasizing crime prevention and some ways to maintain a safe city.
They’ll be focusing on the downtown area to start, but they hope to implement this new concept citywide.
“I want this to be something that our city looks at when we’re considering new developments, that it’s a part of the planning process that we actually write this into code,” said Lieutenant William Hutchinson.
He said police will be introducing a concept in two parts. The first, called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, or CPTED, which focuses on architectural layouts to deter crime.
“We want to make sure that we are considering building design, layouts of parks. Layouts are residential communities,” Hutchinson explained, “A number of ways that you can go and look at a building again, look at parks go, do I need to change building design? Do I need to add fences? Do I need to change the landscaping do I need to have?”
The second is called SafeGrowth, which encourages the community to partner with the city and police to use evidence-based approaches.
Police will be doing a walk-through the downtown area with residents along with planners, developers and experienced criminologists.
“Internationally recognized criminologists from all over the world that are going to be here in Palm Springs. About 15 of them that have already implemented these same strategies throughout cities throughout the United States that have already been successful. And that’s really critical. So we’re not making something up here where they’re going to be able to come to us and look at us. They’ve been doing this 25, 30, 40 years and have evidence based strategies that will work.”
Hutchinson tells us Chief Andy Mills has pushed for more community involvement as part of his problem solving mindset. “Partnerships are always key, we can’t do this alone. We have to do this with our business community, with our with our neighborhoods with, you know, the people that live here and the work here, that’s key, it’s critical.”
In Downtown Palm Springs at Sinfulicious, Manager Valerie Gray is constantly outside of the shop and says she always feels safe. “I haven’t had any issues. Like my husband used to tell me stories, because he grew up out here. And I was like, well, this nothing like that now.”
Being at the shop since January, Gray says she believes the increase in police presence has helped.
“I do see them patrol. And I think the best thing they can do is just keep working with the businesses and as long as the business owners, you know, do what they’re supposed to do. It should be fine.”
There will be two seminars:
Session 1, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 1 -3 p.m. – discussion of what Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) is, what SafeGrowth is, and how we can apply these safety tactics that currently work in other cities.
Session 2, Saturday, Oct. 22, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. – neighborhood tour of downtown Palm Springs and discussion on CPTED strategies that work, along with community engagement and SafeGrowth problem solving, and finally group discussions.
Location: Palm Springs Police Department Training Center, 200 S. Civic Drive.
Both sessions are free and open to the public.