Two years after beginning the community-wide Be Safe Be Smart campaign, we are pleased to see significant positive results emerging. In 2013, Positive Pressure, a coalition powered by Buffalo County Community Partners, engaged with property owners along west 25th Street, bringing together law enforcement, city officials, retailers, news media, realtors, property developers, prevention specialists, youths, parents, Cruise Nite organizers and the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Together, we developed a strategic, multi-year education and awareness campaign utilizing the theme “Be Safe Be Smart” to help provide a focus for dialogue and education. The Coalition put members’ ideas into action to work to create a safe, family-friendly environment for Cruise Nite weekend.
Preliminary results indicate achievement of the Coalition’s primary goal — fully 100 percent of the homeowners along west 25th street on Saturday night sat in their yards enjoying the cruisers. In the 3% of the front yards where gatherings grew to over 20 people, the parties dispersed without significant concerns from residents and law enforcement. We are told that citations were down significantly from previous years. Law enforcement efforts, aided by a new open container ordinance, were indeed an important part of the improved environment on Saturday.
The Be Safe, Be Smart Task Force of Positive Pressure thanks our local law enforcement; the Kearney Hub and other news media for their promotion of the campaign; neighbors and volunteers who met and collaborated with us; and especially you, the Kearney community and visitors, for your efforts in helping secure a family friendly event as a standard for Kearney. Positive Pressure will continue to build on the Be Smart Be Safe Campaign and we invite your continued or new participation, by volunteering, having dialogue with your neighbors about smart and responsible behavior, and by sending your financial support toward the Buffalo County Community Partners 2015 Annual Fund Campaign. Your collaboration and investment in Be Safe Be Smart provides opportunities to put these and other ideas into action.