What can get lost in Seattle’s version of the nationwide debate about whether to defund the police or not, is that there are already proven methods of crime prevention that should be funded fully, but which are not.
Take RBAC’s Corner Greeter program. Using data from our research partners at George Mason University’s (GMU) Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy (CEBCP), we know that crime – especially crimes involving youth – is confined to a few particular locations within a community. Having located these 5 spots within Rainier Beach using crime statistics from the Seattle Police Department, we also know that in our five focus areas crime has declined since we began activating these spaces in 2015.
Yet while there is proof that our Corner Greeter activation events are making “hot spots” feel more like the community pearls, and there is proof that Rainier Beach: A Beautiful Safe Place for Youth (ABSPY), our community-led, place-based, data-driven, non-arrest based collaboration is drastically reducing crime, we are not funded for more than one or two activations per week, at one or two locations.
This is where volunteers trained in Corner Greeter work would be invaluable to community safety in Rainier Beach.
If RBAC had dozens of volunteers, we could expand our proven community safety work. We could complement our Corner Greeters with trained volunteers, and activate each of the 5 focus zones every day of the week.
It would be easy to understate the impact of this, so we won’t: it would be a game-changer.
So if you or someone you know would like to have an actual impact on community safety, please sign up today by visiting rbcoalition.org/volunteer/. We have an orientation and training process in place to get you up to speed, and in case you have any concerns about participating in this work.
What perfect way to Give Big: donating your time to expand the impact of RBAC’s Corner Greeter work.
Ari Robin McKenna writes about education for the South Seattle Emerald, and is working to design the volunteer training experience for the expansion of RBAC’s Corner Greeter program.