Community Leadership Program Aims for Safer Municipalities

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A Community Safety Leadership (CSL) Program will help local officials address safety issues among residents.

Each year, many residents in our communities are needlessly injured when driving, walking or running, playing sports, doing household chores, playing on the playground, and other everyday activities. A Community Safety Leadership (CSL) Program has been designed to help local officials address these concerns by providing information and safety tips on how to reduce the rates of injuries within our communities.

How Does the CSL Program work?
Many municipal departments touch on public safety issues. The objective of the CSL Program is to coordinate these efforts and enlist the help of volunteers from the community.

Information was sent to municipalities around the country, encouraging them to establish a Citizens Advisory Committee for Public Safety consisting of a member of the governing body, a member of the Board of Education, the municipal manager, chief of police, Department of Public Works superintendent, municipal engineer, recreational director, and a number of concerned citizens. The committee would also seek input from Home and School Associations, as well as neighborhood groups.

Municipalities are encouraged to put this issue on the governing body's monthly discussion agenda. Safety programs too often fail when they are given a high priority for a short period, but then receive little, if any, notice until the issue becomes hot again, usually after a serious injury.

It is important to give public safety consistent attention. One of the purposes of the CSL program is to help achieve this consistency.

What was Sent to Each Municipality?
Municipalities throughout the United States were sent a packet with a model resolution for establishing a Citizens Advisory Committee, an overview of the CSL Program, and a booklet and DVD discussing eight major public safety problems: pedestrian safety, school crossing guards, traffic calming, traffic hazards, playground safety, bicycle safety, organized sports injuries, and safety for seniors.

How Did This Program Start?
The CSL Program is a joint effort between the Municipal Excess Liability Joint Insurance Fund (MEL), the New Jersey State League of Municipalities (NJSLOM), and the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey (BIANJ). Also helping to support the initiative were Conner Strong Risk Control Services, the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police (NJCOP), and Munich Re America.

The Brain Injury Association of New Jersey is a statewide organization committed to supporting and advocating for individuals affected by brain injury and raising public awareness through education and prevention. A brain injury can happen to anyone at anytime. For more information on the services and resources of the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey please visit http://www.bianj.org/annual-gala.

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