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Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council and Safe Communities America congratulate Hanover Park, IL, on its accreditation as a Safe Community. The designation recognizes Hanover Park and its coalition – of which the Hanover Park Police Department is the lead agency – for implementing effective strategies to promote safety and address injuries.
The village is the 32nd municipal area to be accredited a Safe Community in the United States.
“The Hanover Park Safe Community coalition is engaging key stakeholders, including local leadership, who are actively engaged and supportive of the coalition’s work,” said Jenny Burke, senior director of advocacy for NSC. “In addition, being data-driven is a key component of the Safe Communities model, and Hanover Park is using the data is has to prioritize key injury issues.”
One of the key initiatives for the coalition is residential fire alarm installations, which have been targeted at neighborhoods with older homes and that have experienced a greater number of fire calls. In addition, the Safety Saturdays program will utilize fire personnel and fire corps volunteers who will go door to door in targeted neighborhoods to inform residents of the availability of smoke detectors offered by the Red Cross, test existing smoke detectors and provide fire safety education.
The coalition’s Traffic Safety Task Group and Elder Falls Task Group also have been working to increase safety in Hanover Park. The Traffic Safety Task Group used crash injury and fatality data to advocate for engineering changes to an “S” curve, and as a result of that advocacy the speed limit in that area was reduced to 40 mph and additional street lighting and flashing signs were installed along the length of the curve to improve visibility. Those efforts were combined with community education and speed-enforcement activities to motivate drivers to slow down before entering the curve.
Meanwhile, the Elder Falls Task Group has formed a partnership with Hanover Park Township Senior Services. Through that partnership, Matter of Balance, a fall prevention initiative, will begin for participants at the local senior center.
Hanover Park also is one of 77 communities in Illinois that is certified as Storm Ready, and all police are trained as weather spotters.
“We are proud to have accomplished this prestigious accreditation through the efforts of a wide-ranging community coalition,” said Mayor Rod Craig. “The Hanover Park Safe Communities America coalition is comprised of a partnership between 38 community stakeholder organizations. With the strength of these agencies working together, important safety-related issues have been addressed and programs put into place that will benefit residents for many years to come.”
According to the NSC State of Safety Report, more than 70% of the preventable deaths in the U.S. occur in homes and communities. No state received an “A” for safety in the report, and Illinois received a “B” overall. However, Hanover Park is an example of how efforts at the local level can create safer communities within a state.
For more information about Safe Communities America and the accreditation process, please visit safecommunitiesamerica.org.
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