The Lancaster Safety Coalition exists with one goal in mind: to enhance the safety and quality of life for every resident and visitor in the City of Lancaster, PA. Lancaster is a great city — vibrant, growing and diverse — and is a wonderful place to live, work and play.
The Lancaster Safety Coalition, or LSC, is a local non-profit organization that supports the effectiveness and efficiency of emergency services in order to keep Lancaster a “hardened target” where criminals find it difficult to offend without consequence. Strong, proactive communities like Lancaster can stem the “big city to small city” criminal migration trend, and be a model of prosperity in the region.
The City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania enjoys a low crime rate relative to its size and population. This was not always true in the historic urban center of 60,000 people living within a stone’s throw of corn fields and productive Amish farms. Addressing issues of public safety was a goal when the Lancaster Crime Commission convened in August 2000.
The concept for the LSC began in the spring of 2001 when the initial Lancaster Crime Commission report was published. That was followed by a series of public meetings held at the Southern Market Center and at the Lancaster General Hospital. A year later, a feasibility analysis was completed, and following the Lancaster Crime Commission’s Final Report in February 2003, the LSC was formed and opened their offices in the UGI Building on Conestoga Street. The Lancaster City Alliance was the lead organization in the creation of the LSC as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Among the key findings in the Commission’s Final Report was the following:
“Positive public perception of public safety, not only in the city central business district but also in all city neighborhoods, is crucial to the future economic success of the city and county.”
To-date the Lancaster Safety Coalition is one of only a few Lancaster County Crime Commission recommendations to become a reality. The pioneering citizen-driven model continues to draw interest from communities from across the country and around the world for its cost effective approach to public safety.
Today, paid LSC staff collaborate with first responders and emergency personnel throughout the city every day of the year. In addition, the LSC partners with numerous community-based organizations including churches, neighborhood groups and other nonprofits to promote CPTED, community pride and the shared responsibility that comes with being a good neighbor.
What We Do
While the LSC is best known for its system of video safety cameras, the organization believes that to successfully enhance the safety and quality of life for our city requires a broader approach. This includes educating the community on the use of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design also known as Safety by Design by all residents and businesses, also known as CPTED (pronounced “SEP-TED”).
The LSC maintains a highly collaborative and effective working relationship with the Lancaster City Police Bureau. We believe that this concept of shared responsibility between the public and private sectors is a cornerstone of successful crime prevention.
We also mobilize the community to become active participants in the process. Through outreach communications that include this website, email and public events throughout the city, we strive for a high degree of transparency and public accountability. Helping residents and business owners to understand the LSC’s objectives and methods is part of that effort.
In addition, the LSC has successfully leveraged resources and increased the overall effectiveness of its mission by partnering with community groups such as the East king Street Improvement District , Grant Street Coalition, the Lancaster City Alliance and various private sector supporters.