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Fostering Public Safety through Community Care in St. Paul

In St. Paul, like in any community, the concept of public safety is central to our daily lives. But achieving true public safety is not solely a matter of law enforcement and surveillance. It hinges on a collective sense of responsibility, genuine care, and an investment in the future of all residents. In this regard, we are the keepers of our own community, and the surest way to fund public safety is to fund people's futures. Everyone, regardless of their identity or place of residence, deserves to be safe and cared for in our city. Period.

1. **A Holistic Approach to Public Safety:** True public safety extends beyond police presence and criminal justice. It encompasses the overall well-being of our community. It means access to quality education, affordable housing, healthcare, and employment opportunities. By investing in these aspects, we create a foundation for a safer, more resilient community.

2. **Community-Centered Care:** Caring for our community is not just a duty of public officials but a shared responsibility. Neighbors looking out for one another, supporting local organizations, and fostering a sense of belonging all contribute to a safer environment. When people feel cared for, they are more likely to reciprocate that care.

3. **Equity and Inclusivity:** Public safety should be a fundamental right for all, without discrimination. This means addressing systemic inequalities that lead to disparate outcomes in safety and well-being. Equity-focused policies and practices are essential to ensure that every individual, regardless of their background, feels safe and supported.

4. **Investing in Education:** Education is one of the most powerful tools for preventing crime and building a brighter future. Adequate funding for schools, community centers, and mentorship programs can provide our youth with opportunities to thrive and make informed choices.

5. **Housing and Economic Security:** Stable housing and economic security are essential components of public safety. By addressing homelessness and providing affordable housing, we can reduce the vulnerability of individuals and families to crime. Simultaneously, creating jobs and supporting small businesses strengthens the local economy.

6. **Mental Health and Social Services:** Public safety also involves addressing mental health and social service needs. Investing in accessible mental health services, addiction treatment programs, and social support systems can prevent crises and enhance community well-being.

7. **Community Policing:** Law enforcement can play a positive role in our community's safety, but it should be approached with transparency, accountability, and a focus on community policing. Building trust between law enforcement and the community is essential for effective crime prevention and response.

8. **Restorative Justice:** Promoting restorative justice practices can be a transformative approach to public safety. Instead of punitive measures, these approaches seek to repair harm, heal relationships, and reintegrate offenders into the community.

In St. Paul, we recognize that public safety is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It is a reflection of our collective values and actions. By focusing on community care and investing in people's futures, we can create a safer and more inclusive city for everyone. The journey to a safer St. Paul begins with a commitment to care for all residents, regardless of who they are or where they live. Period.

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