LogosWorks, the parent company of the York County Safety Collab, was recently awarded a $1.1 million grant through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). This project will create a larger collaboration between law enforcement, social services, public health, community groups, and educational institutions, further building out work in progress and backed by the York County Community Foundation. By employing evidence-based strategies, measuring their effectiveness, and building larger and clearer database dashboards, the project plans to decrease violent crime in York County, educate young people, engage them as part of the solution, and improve access to services and resources for all individuals and families.
There is a strong need for this work in the community. In October 2020, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) published a report which examined 450 major cities in the United States that have under-resourced communities. York was ranked as the fourth most disadvantaged community in the entire country. Furthermore, York County has consistently had a violent crime rate more the twice the national average for the past four years according to UCR reports. In a 2017 press conference, United States Attorney Bruce Brandler described York County as “ground zero in this effort against violent crime” and “the most violent area” in central Pennsylvania.
To facilitate the growing collaboration which will include the York County Safety Collab, LogosWorks will be hiring a full-time community coordinator and a part-time digital engagement coordinator. The community coordinator will gather and facilitate the collaborative efforts of various partners and stakeholders, along with hosting three Youth Engagement Summits aimed at fostering collaboration between the partners, aligning key measurables, and sharing effective strategies. The digital engagement coordinator will teach marketable skills in digital marketing, working to lead campaigns to combat hateful, violent, and criminal activity, involve York County high-school-aged youths to participate in those marketing efforts, and develop a digital curriculum that can influence and encourage juvenile ownership of public safety challenges.
Another integral part of this initiative will be behavioral health-related training to equip our community to better recognize and interact with those members that are at a higher risk for health or safety issues. Wellspan Philhaven will provide this valuable training to service providers, law enforcement, community organizations, and it will be made available to high-school-aged students in York County.
Working with partner non-profits, the initiative will also seek to expand opportunities in areas of college/career preparation programming, STEM education services, and mentoring to provide York County’s youth with the tools to succeed in school and business, embrace pro-social behaviors and attitudes, escape cycles of poverty, and avoid violence and crime.
This will be a multi-year project beginning in April, and we so excited to work with our young people and many partners to shape the culture of our community making York County a safer place for all of us.