Street Sweeping

Street Sweeping, Broadway Style
Winner of the 1999
The Herman Goldstein Award

 

Herman Goldstein, a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin law school, conceived and developed the theory of problem-oriented policing. The Herman Goldstein Award recognizes innovative and effective problem-oriented policing projects that have achieved measurable success in reducing specific crime, disorder, or public safety problems.

The Police Executive Research Forum sponsors a conference once a year in which the world’s best problem-oriented policing projects are presented. In this, the 7th year since the Goldstein award was conceived, police agencies from around the world submitted over 90 nominations to the Police Executive Research Forum describing exemplary problem-oriented policing programs. On August 25, 1999, one winner and six finalists were announced. The finalists this year are the cities of Minneapolis, Racine, San Diego, Fresno, Vancouver, and Baltimore.

The 1999 winner was Green Bay, Wisconsin. Officers Bill Bongle and Steve Scully entitled their presentation, “Street Sweeping, Broadway Style.” In their presentation the officers described a program that serves as proof that communities working together can regain areas that had previously been accepted as lost. The presentation depicts the retaking of the Broadway business district. The multimedia presentation was produced with the assistance of a Broadway business, Pulse Communications. On Saturday, November 13, 1999, the six finalists and the winners, Bill and Steve, presented their programs before 1,400 conference attendees in San Diego, California

 

In a multi-phased process that took just four years, Broadway was transformed into a booming business district. The process included changes in environmental design, increased regulation of liquor licenses, mobilizing citizens to attend city council meetings, using the court system to direct alcoholics to treatment, and gaining the cooperation of liquor stores to decline serving alcohol to habitual drunkards.

 

By engaging members of the community, several positive changes took place:

  • Closure of six problem taverns, an adult bookstore, a business from which drugs were sold, and an illegally operated pawn shop
  • 65% reduction in total police calls from 1993 to 1999
  • 91% decrease in the demand for rescue squad services from 1993 to 1999
  • 85% reduction in disturbance calls from 1993 to 1998

Since 1995, the Broadway business district has experienced a substantial growth in new businesses and jobs. The Green Bay Police responded to the same calls in the Broadway business district for decades with no change. Only when the police employed the assistance of the community did long lasting changes take place. The Broadway business district in now a thriving part of downtown Green Bay.

Following their presentation in San Diego, Bill and Steve have been invited to present in Seattle Washington, Washington D.C., Grand Rapids Michigan, and the United Kingdom.