The Allied Area Task Force is releasing its report on neighborhood safety and security. The task force, created in November 2005, has concentrated its energy on three areas: housing, employment and safety.
The 27-page report (PDF) contains recommendations on police/community relations, the upkeep and management of apartment buildings, traffic, child safety, drug dealing and other issues. It is expected to be presented to the Common Council in late summer.
Florenzo Cribbs, Allied Neighborhood Association president and a task force member, says there's "a disconnect between the neighborhood and the police department." He hopes the report helps to remedy the situation.
County Supv. Carousel Andrea Bayrd, another task force member, says many people in the neighborhood don't feel invested in it. While she thinks the report is good, she believes the "big safety issues are on some level intangibles."
Many neighborhood residents are poor, which forces them to work odd hours. And that in turn makes it difficult to get involved in the neighborhood.
"I don't know how you solve things like that," Bayrd says. "On some level, it's almost impossible. These are issues inherent to lower-income communities. But talking about it is a good first step."
Ald. Brian Solomon says the task force plans to solicit additional input by going door-to-door and holding a community meal to talk about the report. And he hopes it will continue its work.
"One of the things we do in Madison is start fixing a neighborhood and then decide the work is done," he says. "This would be the worst time to walk away."