Dubuque Crime Committee Seeks Another Year to Make Improvements

By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

DUBUQUE, Iowa - Along Dubuque's River-walk and other downtown spots, sits a 9-1-1 kiosk. It's a direct call for help, should an emergency arise. This is the brain-child of the Safe Community task force.

Dubuque Safe Community Advisory Committee Chairman, Doug Stillings said, "I think the community has been safer and I think awareness of public safety issues have increased."

Stillings says the community needs more kiosks. He says there also needs to be an improvement in how some people perceive crime in Dubuque.

Stillings said, "this is a perception issue. It is difficult to gauge when you're work is done. "

Stillings says the group has enacted some major changes in the past three years. Including a parental responsibility ordinance. A parent can now be charged and fined if a child commits a crime.

"What we are trying to do is get back to people being responsible for their own actions and for the actions of the juveniles they are responsible for, " said Stillings.

The city now forces all land-lords to run a background check on all potential tenants. Those land-lords are also required to take a crime-prevention class.

"they learn how to enforce leases, " said Stillings, "They learn how to hold their renters accountable and how to be good land-lords and good neighbors. "

Heading in the right direction, Stillings says, while eying more change.
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