Mayor Horrigan and Chief Mylett Announce Safe Place Program
Akron, Ohio, Dec. 5, 2023 — Today, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Police Chief Steve Mylett are announcing a new Akron Police Department initiative to help victims of hate crimes and harassment receive help. The Safe Place Program is a unique partnership with the business community that allows victims fleeing a threat to quickly and easily recognize where they can go for assistance. Businesses and organizations that participate will place a decal at their entrances signifying to those in need that this location has dedicated itself as a safe place for hate crime victims to receive help quickly.
“This program is another step in ensuring that hate has no place here in our city,” said Mayor Dan Horrigan. “Akron is an inclusive city and we offer a welcoming space for all; however, we recognize that there is always more work to be done to make our city as safe as possible for everyone who calls Akron ‘home.’ I’m proud to launch this program in collaboration with our business community to support our residents.”
“We are committed to the safety of all our residents and visitors and want to assure our community that hate crimes in any form will not be tolerated,” said Chief Mylett. “The Akron Police Department Safe Place decal is meant to convey inclusion and intersectionality with any and all individuals regardless of their race, political beliefs, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other differences. We are proud to serve our diverse and progressive city with this new program.”
What does it mean?
The decal is a symbol to victims of hate crimes that this location has partnered with the police, will call 911 on their behalf and will allow them a safe place to stay on the premises until police arrive.
How does a business sign up?
Signing up to become a participant is easy, free, and open to all businesses and organizations within the Akron city limits. Simply contact the Akron Police Department Community Relations Unit at 330-375-2390 and fill out a Safe Place Application. An APD Safe Place representative will contact you and ensure that you agree to the terms of participation. Your decal and a brief training for your staff will be provided.
What is a business required to do for the program?
While the program is free and voluntary, it is important for businesses to educate their staff on their responsibilities:
If a victim of any crime (especially a hate crime) enters your premises, call 911 immediately.
Allow the victim to remain on your premises until the police arrive.
If the victim leaves prior to police arrival, call 911 to provide an update. As with any emergency situation, staff should use due care & caution when providing the victims of crime safe shelter, while being mindful of the safety of patrons, co-workers and compliance with existing company policies.
Akron police officers regularly undergo cultural competency training and new APD cadets get that same training in the Akron Police Academy, so they are able to assist hate crime victims in a way that respects their unique circumstances and identities.