January 9, 2015 – A coalition of community members has been selected to oversee the City of Midland’s efforts to achieve a Safe Community accreditation from the National Safety Council.
Safe Community is a program designed to help residents of a community become safer in their personal and community lives. There are 23 accredited communities in the United States, and Midland, if successful, will be the first community in Michigan to achieve this status.
The benefits of becoming a Safe Community include an average of a 10 percent overall improvement in residents’ safety, as well as fewer medical costs and reduced work absences, both of which are appealing to new or existing businesses searching for communities to locate or expand.
Local coalition members will work to gather statistics on personal and community safety issues in Midland and review programs available to residents to stay safe. If, in their review of safety data, the coalition discovers safety issues not being addressed, they will recommend new programs for the community.
Members include: Clifford Block, Police Chief; Scott Stephenson, County Sheriff; Chris Coughlin, Fire Chief; Michael Krecek, County Health Director; Diane Postler-Slattery, MidMichigan Hospital President; Mary Haslam, The Dow Chemical Company; Fred McNett, Dow Corning Corporation; Roger Garner, County Emergency Services; Sharon Mortensen, Midland Area Community Foundation; Selina Tisdale, Midland Downtown Business Association; Michael Sharrow, Midland Public Schools Superintendent; Paul Barbeau, Michigan Baseball Foundation; Chris Tointon, Greater Midland Community Centers; Kelly Juday and Jill Dougherty, Great Lakes Safety Training; Ann Fillmore, United Way of Midland County; Alan Brown, Midland County Council on Aging; Sam Price, Ten Sixteen Organization; Bob Stafford, Midland Chamber of Commerce; Dr. John Pfenninger, Medical Practices Center; and Tige Culbertson, Messiah Lutheran Church.
The process to accumulate data, clearly understand the gap analysis of all current programs, and determine the need for new safety programs, is expected to take about three months. Once completed, work on the rigorous application process and a site visit from the National Safety Council will begin.
The original grant for the Safe Communities Accreditation was given to the City of Midland from The Dow Chemical Company.