Mid-County Neighborhood Initiative
The Mid-County Neighborhood Initiative (of mid-county Montgomery County, MD) organizes a variety of actors ranging from government agencies to citizen activists in an effort to improve the lives of residents of, and of conditions in, a swath of Montgomery County from roughly Wheaton to Olney.
This is also known as "MCNI", or sometimes (inaccurately) as "CSAFE" or "C-SAFE".
In roughly 2003, a group of concerned citizens joined a variety of agencies of both the State and County governments, under the auspices of the sitting Lt-Governor, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's "Hot Spots" program. The Mid-County Neighborhood Initiative was formed to combine the resources of the citizens with their governments.
One of our core members and a representative of the Montgomery County Department of Police was Lt Joseph A Mattingly Jr, who gave excellent advice and information. Lamentably, he was not long with us, as he was killed in the line of duty after a long career of some 28 years, which was widely regarded as exemplary. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of Captain, and his family kindly gave permission to name the Joseph A Mattingly Jr Memorial Food Bank in his honor.
Our group was formed in a time of fiscal crisis precipitated by the double whammies of the tragedies of September 11 2001 and the so-called "dot com implosion". We had an increasing crime problem in our neighborhoods and limited ability to increase funding to combat it. We therefor choose to "go the cheap route". We are indebted to Capt Mattingly's daughter, who was in attendance with him at one of our meetings and who made the suggestion that our labor-funding crisis could perhaps be solved by creating opportunities for students to fulfil their volunteerism credit requirements. This was later expanded to make use of community-service hours requirements of those convicted of fairly minor crimes. We have relied extensively on volunteerism, and it has allowed us to accomplish a great many things with very limited funding.
In 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 we have promoted a National Night Out Against Crime event in North Gate Park. This is a capstone and keynote event, which is the culmination of a variety of other activities which are ongoing throughout the annual cycle. These events (photo and video) have allowed us to bring agencies capable of providing assistance to potential clients who may need the help, and promote communication between those who may need services or information, and those who can provide services and information.
We have had long-term involvement from Graffiti Abatement Partners, and they contribute much to helping us keep our neighborhood clean.
The Montgomery County Department of Police have been indispensable.
We get continuing funding from the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, with some of our funding coming from the CSAFE (Collaborative Supervision and Focused Enforcement) grant program.
Part of our funding comes to us from the Montgomery County Collaboration Council for Children, Youth, and Families, which is funded in part by the Governor's Office for Children, Youth, and Families.
An example of past activity from early summer of 2008 follows:
We have been working with Maura Lynch, States Attorney, on the SOCCER TOURNAMENT AT THE GERMANTOWN SOCCERPLEX TOMORROW AND FRIDAY, and I plan to attend to help out. A Rec. Dept. bus will be leaving Argyle Middle School soon after 12 noon when school lets out, and we are making arrangements to pick up children at other schools who have signed up for the program: Strathmore, Parkland, Newport Mill and Loiderman. Call me tonight if you have questions about transportation.
Susan Johnson 301-949-2158
Our next monthly meeting of the CSAFE Workgroup will be on Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. at Argyle Middle School.
For more information, please contact Susan Johnson at 301-949-2158.
Recurrent or Ongoing Projects
Most of our internal communications are conducted via e-mail or by telephone. You can be added to our mailing lists by request. These mailing lists announce our next scheduled meeting times and dates, and generally carry the meeting minutes of our last meeting.
We continue to promote the concept of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.
Would you like some official forms you can fax to the police department to notify them of suspicious activities and recurrent problems? Download some official Check-On Patrol Request forms.