In recent years, we have received an increasing number of concerns from downtown business owners regarding the safety of their employees and customers. Concerns include, violence, harassment, theft, and an increase in graffiti. This has led us to shift our focus to find creative solutions to these complex issues our community is facing. The BBA has long been engaged in work to keep downtown safe for all who live, work, and visit downtown.
- Back in 2002 we helped secure funding for and founded the Howard Center Street Outreach team. Their main goal is to work with individuals who have mental health, substance use, homelessness, and unmet social service needs. The Street Outreach team works to ensure services are accessible for all individuals and helps keep downtown safe by addressing concerning behaviors that require intervention, but not emergency services.
- In the Fall of 2021, we launched the Downtown Safety Ambassador Program, an initiative focused on ensuring our downtown service workers made it home safely. This project was made possible by the support and donations from our members and other key stakeholders in our community.
- With this concern of safety in mind and in an effort to give back autonomy to the employees, the BBA has hosted training programs over the last few years, including De-Escalation training, co-hosted by the Howard Center and Loss Prevention Training, co-hosted by Outdoor Gear Exchange and the Church Street Marketplace Commission.
- In light of the current challenges working downtown, the Howard Center Street Outreach team was looking for stab-proof vests. This is not something that was in the team’s budget this year and required outside funding. Thanks to a few BBA members and other downtown businesses, we were able to raise the $5000 needed to purchase a vest for each member of the team.
What we’re working on now:Fall 2022 Public Safety Projects
Public Safety Resources
Downtown Safety and Security GuideDOWNTOWN BURLINGTON SAFETY AND SECURITY GUIDE 2022 (1)
BPD Online Incident Reporting FormThis online form allows you to submit a report immediately and print a copy of the police report for free. This is only for incidents that are not an emergency or an in-progress incident. Can be used for Graffiti, Lost Property, Theft (NOT from a house, apartment, or business by an intruder), Vandalism, Attempted Theft from a Vehicle, Suspicious Events, etc. https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/Police/Online-Incident-Reporting
Notice of Trespass Formhttps://www.burlingtonvt.gov/sites/default/files/Police/files/Notice%20of%20Trespass%206-28-17.pdf
SeeClickFixSeeClickFix is the city’s digital 311 solution that allows anyone to report issues, identify repair needs, share feedback, and ask questions of city officials and departments. Residents, visitors, and businesses are encouraged to report a Found Needle or syringe, Graffiti, and any issues to city property, roads, sidewalks, or parking meters. More reporting is needed to ensure impacts of these issues are accurately measured. SeeClickFix on the Apple App Store SeeClickFix on the Google Play Store Weblink: https://seeclickfix.com/burlington_2
Bike RegistryThe Police Department provides this voluntary bicycle registration program as a community service. Lost or stolen bicycles registered through this program have a much greater chance of being returned to their rightful owners once they are recovered. https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/police/bikes
Issues we’re following related to public safety
- Elmwood Ave. Shelter PODs: BBA’s Info Sheet
- Burlington’s Graffiti Task Force
- BPD staffing levels
- Downtown Safety and Security Guide
- BPD Online Incident Reporting
- Bike Registry