Front: Elaine Wilmore, Dorene Boular
Back: Terry Windell, Arthdale Brown, Mike Kropp
Neighborhood Empowerment serves as a link between City government and Rock Hill neighbor-hoods and works to build a sense of community and partnership within and between neighbor-hoods, the City of Rock Hill, and other public and private stakeholders.
In 1994, the City of Rock Hill Police Department adopted a community-policing philosophy. Quickly, it became evident that community-policing went beyond the realm of law enforcement and would require that all city departments begin working together, not only with law enforcement, but with other service providers and residents themselves, to meet the needs of the community. In 1995, the City of Rock Hill established its Neighborhood Empowerment Office. Utilizing existing staff resources, two employees who worked in a part-time capacity, a police officer and a recreation professional, were assigned to assist neighborhoods organize. Organizing neighborhoods then helped us, as a service provider, to tailor our services to the needs of individual neighborhoods, based on their identified needs and not on our perception of those needs. Neighborhood-focus followed a customer-service philosophy which was adopted in 1989.
Working with the police department, we began to attend meetings of the City’s six identified neighborhood watch groups. Education and communication became our main focus.
Working directly for the City Manager, the Neighborhood Empowerment staff now provides a variety of services to organized neighborhoods and serves as a conduit for providing information between our organization and the community. Though neighborhood empowerment has staff dedicated to "neighborhood" work, the concept of neighborhood empowerment has become institutionalized in our organization and a new way of providing services, instead of additional work.
As this initiative has grown, so to have the number of identified neighborhood organizations.
Currently, in addition to assisting neighborhoods organize, we provide a variety of resources which will enhance organized neighborhoods and information which will assist them in effectively dealing with neighborhood concerns.
To find out more about what we do, please download our brochure entitled Neighborhood Empowerment - What's It All About?