Itasca, IL – The Safe Communities America Certifying Center of the National Safety Council recently designated three communities in Nebraska – Norfolk, Beatrice and the Nebraska Panhandle. These communities, in addition to the existing community in Omaha, make Nebraska the state with the most Safe Communities to date – covering 889,800 residents.
“I am pleased to be part of the effort to make Nebraska one of the safest states in the country. The Nebraska Safety Council is committed to working with communities in Nebraska to continue this effort,” said Laurie Klosterboer executive director of the Nebraska Safety Council.
Through the Safe Community designation process, a coalition – made up of local businesses, the fire protection district, park district, law enforcement, public health organizations and schools – is formed to create and improve programs to cover identified risk areas that specifically address community-specific injury data. These safety plans follow the guidelines of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center for Community Safety Promotion. Chief Bill Mizner of the Norfolk Police Department, Lori Warner of the Beatrice Chamber of Commerce and Kim Engel of the Panhandle Public Health District lead the coalitions in their respective communities.
According to a study conducted by NSC, counties that contain Safe Communities have 9% fewer unintentional deaths than similar counties that are not designated Safe Communities.
The International Safe Community designation is based on six criteria:
- A cross-sectional partnership responsible for the promotion of community safety
- Long-term sustainable programs for all genders, ages, environments and situations
- Programs targeting high-risk groups and environments
- Programs documenting the frequency and causes of injuries
- Evaluation measures to assess programs and the effects of change
- Ongoing participation in national and international Safe Communities networks
The World Health Organization created the Safe Communities Collaborating Center, which named the National Safety Council as the designated U.S. Certification Center for Safe Communities America. Safe Communities America oversaw the designations in Nebraska.
“We have been very impressed with the way organizations and businesses in these Nebraska communities are working together to protect residents. They are better positioned to prevent injuries and deaths through this collaborative approach,” said Donna Stein-Harris senior director of Safe Communities America for the National Safety Council.
For more information, please visit www.safecommunitiesamerica.org.
About the National Safety Council
Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council (nsc.org) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public to make an impact where the most preventable injuries and deaths occur, in areas such as distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety and beyond the workplace, particularly in and near our homes.