County Adopts a Plan for Living Safely

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This video presentation to the Board of Supervisors gives an overview of the Living Safely strategy.
October 9, 2012 | 11:38am

If you want to achieve something big, you need a plan.

San Diego County government is driven by a vision of a region that is healthy, safe, and thriving for all residents and visitors. Achieving that kind of vision depends, among other things, on careful plans.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors adopted the County’s plan for enhancing the region’s safety over the next 10 years. Living Safely, as the plan is called, defines what safety for all San Diegans means and how the County will achieve it. Living Safely outlines a plan for a region where:

•          Residents are protected from crime or abuse

•          Neighborhoods are safe to work, live and play

•          Communities are resilient to disasters and emergencies

The plan and its measures have the potential to be a model for safety, “not only in the County, but in the state and the nation,” Board Chairman Ron Roberts said Tuesday after a staff presentation on Living Safely.

The County’s public safety departments are essential to the plan. But Living Safely involves the entire County. The Department of Environmental Health, Animals Services and Behavioral Health are among the many departments with specific roles.

Likewise, the plan calls for private and community partners and residents themselves playing a key role in the region’s safety.

“It’s not just the public safety group, it’s this County working together, and that’s what makes us exceptional,” said Sheriff Bill Gore said.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis echoed those thoughts.

 “This pulls together everything, in terms of the health and well-being of our communities, as well as the public safety,” she said.

Living Safely outlines tools and values that go into achieving regional safety. Technology, data-driven practices and empowering residents to make their own families and communities safer are some of the best-practices and fiscally prudent elements of the plan.  

The plan describes the County’s commitment to a balanced approach that holds offenders accountable but also addresses the roots of criminal behavior to prevent crime.

 “For the incorrigible criminal that preys upon our residents, the full weight of the law is brought to bear on them to prevent them from victimizing anyone else,” explained Ron Lane, the General Manager of the County’s Public Safety Group. “However, we also recognized that many people are in the criminal justice system largely as the result of addiction, mental illness or other problems, and with the appropriate intervention and treatment, can escape the criminal cycle, improving not only their lives, but also making our entire community safer.”

Living Safely is one part of the County’s overall 10 year vision for a healthy, safe, and thriving region: Live Well, San Diego! The first of the plan's strategies, Building Better Health, was adopted by the Board two years ago. The Board of Supervisors is set to hear an update on Building Better Health Oct. 30.

View the complete plan (PDF)