By Jeff Brewster, Communications Director
LAKEWOOD, WA – This week, the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) announced it will formally recognize the City of Lakewood for excellence in public safety. The “Municipal Excellence Awards” are presented to cities demonstrating outstanding achievement in promoting community excellence; AWC encourages other cities to develop similar programs.
Lakewood’s award submittal highlighted the creation of the Community Safety Resource Team (CSRT), which was conceived by City Manager Andrew Neiditz, funded by the City Council, and implemented in early 2010. Neiditz remarked “the success of the CSRT is a tribute to the professionalism of these highly committed employees and their service to make Lakewood a better place to live and work.”
The CSRT is an interdisciplinary team of police, code enforcement officers, community services officers, and legal advisors under the leadership of police Lieutenant Steve Mauer. Among other things, the team establishes watch groups with neighborhoods and businesses, addresses blight and petty crime, and abates dangerous or nuisance properties when necessary. Each neighborhood in Lakewood has a CSRT liaison to assist citizens.
The City will be formally recognized for its CSRT accomplishments at the AWC Annual Conference in Spokane in June and will be featured in the AWC magazine “City Vision.” Furthermore, an AWC film crew will be in Lakewood next week to produce a video on the program; that video will be linked to the city’s website (www.cityoflakewood.us) and Facebook page when available.