It’s official: 17 neighborhoods in Brooklyn Center are part of the city record.
The Brooklyn Center City Council approved a resolution to adopt the official neighborhood boundaries and names in December.
Neighborhood meetings in Brooklyn Center started in 2008, which led to dividing the city into 17 areas with names associated with parks or other landmarks located there.
Becky Boie, the police department’s crime prevention specialist, said the staff reviewed the five patrol sectors and divided the areas by prominent street intersections and selected parks to meet in.
The council’s approval of the resolution last month, submitted by Assistant City Manager Vickie Schleuning, officially establishes smaller geographical areas for city staff and the police department to have direct communication with residents and business owners in.
Four neighborhood meetings are held per year in May through August and staff has now visited each of the neighborhoods since the program started in 2008, Boie said.
The meetings will resume in May this year at the same locations visited in 2008, Kylawn Park, East Palmer Lake Park, Grandview Park and Garden City Park.
“We are looking for a better way to reach out to neighborhoods about crime concerns,” Boie said.
In the past staff of the police department have distributed information about the meetings to neighborhood watch captains and residents by going door-to-door and, Boie said, that practice will continue.
Kris Lawrence Anderson is a neighborhood watch captain and former chair of Brooklyn Center’s Housing Commission, which discussed the neighborhood boundaries during the last year. Lawrence Anderson was elected to the city council in November and will be sworn in on Monday, Jan. 14.
“There was some concern that it would divisive, and that wouldn’t be the intent at all,” Lawrence Anderson said about the designated neighborhoods. “That objective would be to bring more pride in their particular community and branch out and expand neighborhood involvement.”
Boie said people won’t call the police department about certain concerns, but do share them in person when staff visit neighborhoods.
“It’s just a better way to communicate with the community,” she said.
In addition to any potential crime trends and alerts, the communication with neighborhood residents is about projects and events throughout the community.
The official neighborhood boundaries should help city staff have more consistent communication externally with residents as well as internally at city hall, Schleuning said.
During the neighborhood meetings, staff are also able to provide specific local information about street projects, police calls for service, nuisances or housing issues that may be of concern to residents, she said.
Staff can provide details about housing programs that residents would benefit from as well as foreclosure and vacant housing statistics broken down by the official boundaries, she added.
“I think there is a lot of the potential for the future (and) hope for grassroots programs that may be implemented from the residents’ standpoint,” Schleuning said.
Staff will also reach out to business owners in the designated neighborhoods.
Two neighborhoods, Shingle Creek, in central Brooklyn Center, and Riverwood, in northeast Brooklyn Center, have more commercial properties than residential.
The remaining 15 neighborhoods each have less than 900 single-family properties.
Boie is finalizing the dates for the neighborhood meetings this year and they will be available in the April City Watch newsletter.
“We just look forward to a continued collaborative relationship with the community,” Boie said.