Green Dot Initiative Helps Reduce Crime in Rocky Mount, NC

making Rocky Mount less dangerous

Imagine this situation: you stop at a gas station to get a cup of coffee. While there, you notice that a woman has left her car unattended. The key is in the ignition, and the woman has left her purse---and her child---in the car. A man in the parking lot is looking at the vehicle—although it is not clear what his intentions may be.

 What would you do? One course of action would be to keep an eye on the car until the woman returned. By watching over the car, you create a “green dot” to make the community less dangerous.

 But what is a “green dot,” and what does it have to do with Rocky Mount, NC?

 Green Dot is a strategy that encourages a new approach to violence prevention. Instead of focusing on slogans and educational skits, Green Dot uses social theory to make communities less dangerous.

 What does that mean? It means using the power of peer and cultural influence to implement positive changes. Green Dot encourages collaboration with individuals within the community to equip them to facilitate change. Rocky Mount, NC police officers will be taking these tenants of crime prevention to members of the community.

 Several Rocky Mount Police officers participated in the Green Dot Institute for Communities. This four-day course focused on crime prevention techniques that have demonstrated a measurable difference in making cities less dangerous. Participants in this “train the trainer” session included Police Chief James Moore, Capt. Laura Fahnestock, Sgt. Scott Hale and Sgt. Edwin Collins.  This course enables these officers to teach other organizations about the Green Dot philosophy.

 What makes the Green Dot philosophy different? It focuses on creating a cultural shift instead of promoting a crime prevention slogan. According to information from Green Dot, this philosophy involves using actions, choices and voices to make one “dot” or one part of the community safer. By engaging community members and bystanders to share this common purpose, the result is crime and violence reduction, and a safer and less dangerous community.

 An integral part of this Green Dot philosophy is the 3D’s: Direct, delegate and distract.

 Direct means do something.

Delegate means that, if afraid, ask for help from friends or talk to someone who is trustworthy.

Distract means to do something to divert the situation. This can include telling a joke, setting off a car alarm, or even something as simple as dropping a package.

 Officers from the Rocky Mount Police Department are going to present the Green Dot philosophy to several organizations, including:

  • The Boys and Girls Club of Nash and Edgecombe counties
  • Neighborhood Presidents Association
  •  The Rocky Mount Parks and Recreation Department
  • The NC Communities in Schools
  •  City department leaders
  •  Parker Middle School staff

 If interested, organizations can sign up for a training course.

 After initial introductions are completed, interested organizations may sign up for a two to three hour training course. For more information on Green Dot, or to enroll in a 15-minute overview, call 252-972-1471.




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