Fw: Travel pool 2-landing/Amtrak/background

From: Sarah Wheaton [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Monday, May 18, 2015 12:54 PM
To: Velz, Peter
Subject: Travel pool 2-landing/Amtrak/background

AF1 landed in overcast Philly at 12:41. President emerged at  12:50 (There was some trouble getting staircase lined up) and greeted Sen. Bob Casey, Mayor Michael Nutter and others (see note from WH below). They all conferred in a huddle, then another round of handshakes and some backslapping. Obama boarded Marine 1 at 12:53.

Background on greeters and Camden info below from White House. Gaggle notes coming soon.

Background from the White House

Upon landing in Philadelphia, the President thanked Mayor Michael Nutter and the city's first responder team for their swift work to treat the wounded and save lives after the derailment of Amtrak train 188 last week.

The President was greeted by:

•            Senator Bob Casey

•            Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia

•            Chuck Ramsey, Philadelphia Police Commissioner

•            Derrick Sawyer, Philadelphia Fire Commissioner

•            Everett Gillison, Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor of Public Safety, City of Philadelphia

•            Samantha Phillips, Director of Emergency Management, City of Philadelphia

Venue

The President is delivering remarks at the Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, which opened in October 2014 in northeast Camden. The center features facilities for fitness, recreation, visual and performing arts, as well as centers for spirituality, early childhood learning, and job training. The audience for the President’s remarks is made up of stakeholders including community members, clergy, public officials and law enforcement officials, as well as White House guests.

Tour

The President will receive a briefing from Police Chief Scott Thomson in the Police Department’s Real Time Tactical Operational Intelligence Center, which demonstrates how they leverage technology to both track crime and increase accountability among their officers.

Youth/Law Enforcement Meeting

The President will meet with a group of Camden youth and police officers to discuss community relations and programs that build trust between young people and law enforcement. They will share their experiences with programs such as midnight basketball games and reading to elementary school students.

BACKGROUND ON CAMDEN

Camden County Police Department

Today, in Camden, New Jersey, the President will highlight innovative steps taken by a city that has struggled with one of the nation's highest violent crime rates to create economic opportunity, help police do their jobs more safely, and reduce crime in the process.

The Camden County Police Department has instituted a community policing initiative, and changes include increasing the number of police officer boots on the ground and changing the way their officers interact with the community.   The department now stands at 390 members, up from 200 officers. In addition, the Camden Police Department is stepping up engagement with the community to build trust through mentorship programs, increased Little League participation, midnight basketball programs and volunteer days in schools.

The department has regularly released crime statistics, showing reductions in murder, robbery, gunshots and assaults, as well as most forms of nonviolent offenses. Since 2013:

o   Homicides are down 47% and shootings are down 59%.

o   Overall violent crime is down 24%.

o   The average response time to 911 calls is now less than 5 minutes, down from more than 60 minutes, three years ago.

o   The number of open-air drug markets have been cut and the department created its first cold-case unit.

o   Next month, the department is launching a force-wide mentoring program to sharpen communication skills, de-escalation techniques and ethical awareness.

o   In February, during an Oval Office listening session with local law enforcement who were models of community policing, POTUS met Camden Officer Virginia Matias from Camden.

White House Police Data Initiative

The White House is collaborating with police chiefs and municipal Chief Technology Officers from 21 leading-edge jurisdictions across the country to use data and technology in ways that build community trust and reduce unnecessary uses of force.  The effort serves as a direct and tangible response to recommendations the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.  Camden is one of many cities that was already leading in this space and has joined the Police Data Initiative to accelerate their work.

Camden’s Police Chief seeks to re-envision the way key tech systems operate to help the Camden force expand the insights and analysis they derive from police activity. In response, the White House has assembled a volunteer team of technology experts and data scientists to spend two days in Camden, engaging directly with front line officers, detectives, crime analysts and department leadership to help envision what a truly effective technology system could look like.  This two-day deployment will help the team consider best practices and address specific technology questions as they arise, enabling departments like Camden to find the solutions that most fit their needs

Like many police departments, Camden wants to use smarter, more data-driven ways of improving community policing efforts and reducing uses of force. However, challenges with technology systems often get in the way.  For instance, the Camden County PD cobbles together 41 systems that have individual value but are not designed to work together, requiring their beat officers to enter the same data multiple times.  In this environment, meaningful data analysis ends up being extremely difficult to conduct, requiring analysts to spend more time on extracting the data than on critical analysis.

Camden, NJ MBK Community Challenge

Mayor Dana Redd (Camden, NJ) signed on to the My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge on April 22, 2015. The City will focus on four milestones including:

1.      Ensuring all children enter school cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally ready;

2.      Ensuring all children read at grade level by third grade;

3.      Ensuring all youth graduate from high school; and

4.      Ensuring all youth remain safe from violent crime.

Camden will host a local action summit within 45 days of accepting the challenge and within 120 days they will conduct a comprehensive policy review. Finally, within 180 days the City will publically launch their MBK Local Action plan. The city plans to incorporate MBK’s goals into existing programs and local strategies. As part of their ongoing work, the City will build on and leverage local and federal partners including the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention partner cities; Center for Family Services; Camden County Police Department; U.S. Department of Justice; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development; Union Organization for Social Service; and private sector companies.

Promise Zone Designation

Camden, NJ was designated as a Promise Zone last month, and through this designation the community will work directly with federal, state and local agencies to give local leaders proven tools to improve the quality of life in some of the country’s most vulnerable areas.  The Camden Promise Zone Plan represents the culmination of five years of collaborative efforts aimed at improving the quality of life for Camden children, youth, and families. Key partners in this plan include the City of Camden, the Center For Family Services, the Housing Authority of Camden City, the Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, the Camden City School District, Camden Metro Police and Campbell Soup Company.

The following five goals have been set to build momentum and move Camden forward:

o   Increase Economic Activity

o   Reduce Serious And Violent Crime

o   Improve Educational Outcomes

o   Improve Health and Wellness

o   Increase Affordable And Safe Housing

Strategies in the plan include:

o   Strengthen the economic base by continuing citywide economic revitalization through the work of the Camden Higher Education and Healthcare Task Force; negotiate redevelopment and community benefit agreements; and provide job training services and training programs.

o   Implement a community policing model to build local trust and engage residents in meaningful discussions regarding crime activity and prevention.

o   Reduce violence and advance the safety and well-being of Camden Promise Zone youth using an integrated and data-driven approach to service delivery.

o   Create a Youth Justice Task Force in partnership with local community organizations to provide interventions and supports in non-school settings for the most at-risk students.

o   Reduce childhood obesity and hunger by collaborating with school and community partners to provide onsite nutrition education, school gardens, cooking classes, physical activity programs, and school health and wellness policy creation and implementation.

o   Ensure quality housing options are available for all residents by rehabilitating existing multi-family housing units with supportive services and demolishing vacant properties.

Camden PowerCorps AmeriCorps Initiative
The City of Camden, in partnership with the state of New Jersey, is receiving a grant for 60 AmeriCorps members. AmeriCorps members will maintain parks, storm water inlets, rain gardens, and other green infrastructure projects throughout the city, and work in partnership with the City of Camden to advance Camden's Promise Zone goals -- including AmeriCorps VISTA members working in partnership with the city as part of the Administration's Promise Zone initiative. In addition, AmeriCorps members will leverage community volunteers who will be engaged in environmental projects, such as cleaning waterways, planting trees, and helping to maintain and beautify Camden City.

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