Friday, January 05, 2007

Improve Quality of Place: Be a crime fighter

Two thirds of Americans ages 25 through 34 say they’re deciding first where they want to put down roots, and then looking for a job in that place, according to a report by CEOs for Cities, a national network of urban leaders.

This conflicts with the common misconception that young professionals will go anywhere for a job. Not true. Talented young professionals choose places to live based not solely on productive considerations, but on amenities and consumption opportunities, community, social and family considerations. What many people refer to as "quality of place."

The main attributes these footloose employees seek in a place to live are cleanliness, access to excellent schools, parks and green space, and affordable housing.

In addition, talented young people are choosing to locate primarily in the center of a region. A three-mile circle generally corresponds to the commercial heart and close-in neighborhoods in each metropolitan area. In 2000 they were 33 percent more likely to live in the close-in neighborhoods.

So the key is here young professionals, and community leaders, we need to make our close-in neighborhoods more appealing, clean and affordable.

Well how do we do that?

By being a neighborhood crime fighter.

The Bethlehem Police Department recently launched a crime tipline.

The line isn't intended for emergency calls, but to report possible gang activity, drug deals or to help police with ongoing investigations, said Bethlehem police Commissioner Randy Miller.

''The citizens are our key because they are our eyes and ears with what is happening on the streets,'' he said. ''The line will be another tool to give us more information in what is happening in those neighborhoods.''

Callers may remain anonymous. The phone line will be answered by a part-time civilian employee. After hours, callers may leave a message.

Bethlehem Police Department's Crime Tip Line is 610-691-6660.

Allentown Police Department also has a Crime Tip Line at 610-439-5911.

Call in anytime you see suspicious activity. After all, no one knows your neighborhood better than you. Together, we can make our communities safer.

"Improve Quality of Place" will be an occasional feature here at The Afterwork Chronicles.

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