(Dublin, Ohio) — The City of Dublin and Dublin Police Department have launched a community-based program that creates safe havens for people who have experienced hate crimes, threats or intimidation, or for people in personal crisis.
All City buildings and all Washington Township Fire Department stations now operate as Safe Space Dublin locations. That means someone entering those buildings in a time of need can receive compassionate instructions from trained staff members, known as allies, about what steps they can take to receive support during a situation where their safety is in jeopardy. Participating areas have window decals to signify the building is a Safe Space.
The Safe Space Dublin program encourages people to report hate crimes or threats to the police, aiming to empower victims to report such crimes so incidents can be properly investigated.
Dublin Police Chief Justin Páez notes that this safety initiative is an overt demonstration of the City’s commitment to providing everyone with a sense of belonging in Dublin while community members are able to take an active role in supporting others.
“What stands out about this program is that the community is involved,” Páez explains. “Someone walks into a shop or building and doesn’t know what to do. It might be as simple as calling 911 for them or letting that person know what their options are in that moment. Fear can be powerful, but having others serving as the guardians of their neighbors is its own kind of power.”
Safety, Security and Support
How does it work? The program promotes safety, security and support, with community partners contributing local resources that Safe Space allies can offer to a Safe Space user.
Safety – Did the person experience a hate crime?
Safe Space Dublin allies can call 911 so the person can report a crime to the Dublin Police.
Security – Did they feel threatened or intimidated?
Allies can call 911 so the person can file a police report or so they can be connected with community resources and the right people to help support them.
Support – Is the person in a crisis?
Allies can link people with mental and behavioral health services and resources.
Expanding through Partnerships
The police department credits the ongoing partnership with the Chief’s Advisory Committee and Community Inclusion Advisory Committee members for helping to build an inclusive and safe community, resulting in the Safe Space Dublin program.
Washington Township Fire Chief Alec O’Connell has also signed on the four fire stations and administration building as Safe Spaces to unite public safety services under one umbrella of support.
“Anytime we can partner with the Dublin Police to make our community and our residents feel safe, is a project we are proud to be part of,” O’Connell says. “Our fire stations will always provide a safe space for anyone who needs them.”
Joining the Program
The City seeks to extend the program to private businesses, advocacy organizations and other stakeholders to further the reach of the project. Groups that are local to Dublin will be able to serve as Safe Space Dublin locations or as resource contributors, while regional groups have the option to provide their wellness resources to the program.
Syntero, a local care provider focused on mental health care needs, is the first private business to join Safe Space Dublin. Syntero’s extensive wellness network will serve the program as a resource hub, as well as a physical location, that users of a Safe Space can connect with.
Syntero CEO Julie Erwin Rinaldi indicates how the intent and purpose of the City’s initiative closely align with Syntero’s own values of integrity, empowerment, inclusivity and innovation.
“We are eager to continue our partnership with the City of Dublin and the Dublin Police Department in efforts to create a community in which all individuals feel safe and secure,” Rinaldi says. “Serving Dublin as a leader in behavioral health for over 40 years, Syntero is committed to supporting programs such as Safe Space Dublin in order to support and empower marginalized and underrepresented individuals and families throughout this community.”
Find more information and the list of resources at SafeSpaceDublin.org.
Public Safety in Dublin
The Dublin Police Department is dedicated to protection, service and public safety in partnership with the community. Learn more at YourDublinPolice.org.
DEI in Dublin
The City of Dublin continues to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives to ensure all residents and visitors know they are welcome, safe and respected in Dublin. Learn more.
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