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The Department of Leisure Services is a full-service, comprehensive department, which prides itself on customer service and satisfaction.
Administrated by a small, dedicated full-time staff, the department utilizes seasonal part-time employees to operate its outstanding array of recreational programs. The Performing Arts Center, the Community Aquatic Program, and the Senior Center have all received recognition for excellent programming, leadership, and achievements.
The National Recreation and Park Society has adopted "The Benefits are Endless" slogan. Upper Darby Department of Leisure Services supports this slogan and has adopted our own "Something for Everyone" policy, striving to continually provide wholesome, enjoyable, and beneficial activities to all members of our community.
The department also processes and issues permits for parks, playgrounds, field and recreation areas, buildings, and schools within the township of Upper Darby. The Parks division maintains the township recreation facilities on a year-round basis, which includes grass cutting, snow removal, interior maintenance, and continual playground inspection, repair, and renovation.
The Director of Leisure Services coordinates the functions of all aspects of the department including, but not limited to year-round programming, facility usage, performing arts, senior services, Welcome Center, and park maintenance to assure smooth operations by and between all divisions.
The administrator is also responsible for determining need and selecting personnel necessary for the successful operation of the department, ascertaining present and future needs for recreation areas, facilities, and programs, and preparing short and long-term plans to meet these needs.
In addition, the director develops and oversees all department budget requirements, establishes office procedure and policy, and structures a system of reporting, evaluating, and publicizing the work of the department.
The Director regularly confers with community groups and individuals, interprets the scope and purpose of present operations, and continually looks toward improving and advancing the department.
Weed and Seed is foremost a strategy--rather than a program-- which aims to prevent, control, and reduce violent crime, drug abuse, and gang activity in targeted high-crime neighborhoods across the country. Weed and Seed sites range in size from several neighborhood blocks to 15 square miles.
The strategy involves a two-pronged approach: law enforcement agencies and prosecutors cooperate in "weeding out" criminals who participate in violent crime and drug abuse, attempting to prevent their return to the targeted area; and "seeding" brings human services to the area, encompassing prevention, intervention, treatment, and neighborhood revitalization.
A community-orientated policing component bridges weeding and seeding strategies. Officers obtain helpful information from area residents for weeding efforts while they aid residents in obtaining information about community revitalization and seeding resources.
The law enforcement element consists primarily of suppression activities. These activities include enforcement, adjudication, prosecution, and supervision efforts designed to target, apprehend, and incapacitate violent street criminals who terrorize neighborhoods and account for a disproportionate percentage of criminal activity. One example of an effective law enforcement strategy is Operation Triggerlock, a Department of Justice initiative that targets violent offenders for prosecution in Federal court to take advantage of tough Federal firearms laws.
Some of the suppression activities will focus on special enforcement operations such as repeat or violent offender removal programs, intensified narcotics investigations, targeted prosecutions, victim-witness protection, and elimination of narcotics trafficking organizations operating in these areas.
Community Policing serves as the bridge between the “weeding" (law enforcement) and "seeding" (neighborhood restoration) components. The community policing element operates in support of intensive law enforcement suppression and containment activities and provides a bridge to the prevention, intervention, and treatment component as well as the neighborhood reclamation and restoration components. Local police departments should implement community policing strategies in each of the targeted sites. Under community policing, law enforcement works closely with community residents to develop solutions to violent and drug-related crime. In addition, community policing should help foster a sense of responsibility within the community and serve as a stimulus for community mobilization.
Community Policing activities will focus on increasing police visibility and developing cooperative relationships between the police and citizenry in the target areas. Techniques such as foot patrols, problem solving, victim referrals to support services, and community relations activities will increase positive interaction between the police and the community. Special emphasis should be placed on addressing the needs of crime victims and minority communities that are disproportionately victimized by crime.
The objective is to raise the level of citizen and community involvement in crime prevention and intervention activities to solve drug-related problems in neighborhoods to enhance the level of community security. Community policing might include police mini stations, foot patrols, and nuisance abatement.
Community mobilization is also important to community policing in crime prevention. Programs that encourage community participation and help prevent crime include neighborhood watches, citizen marches and rallies, prayer services, drug-free zones, and graffiti removal
The prevention, intervention, and treatment element could begin with the near completion of the intensive "Weed" activities. However, depending on the needs, interests, and most importantly, the safety of the targeted neighborhood, this aspect of the strategy could be initiated concurrently with the weeding effort. This element should help prevent crime and violence from recurring in target neighborhoods. The coordinated efforts of law enforcement and social service agencies, the private sector, and the community will help prevent crime from recurring. This can be accomplished by concentrating a broad array of human services on the target areas to create an environment where crime cannot thrive.
Prevention, intervention, and treatment should include youth services, school programs, community and social programs, and support groups designed to develop positive community attitudes toward combating narcotics use and trafficking. The Safe Haven, for example, is a mechanism to organize and deliver an array of youth-and adult-oriented human services in a multiservice center setting such as a school.
Neighborhood restoration can be achieved only through the coordinated use of Federal, State, local, and private sector resources. This element of the Weed and Seed program is designed to revitalize distressed neighborhoods and improve the quality of life in the target communities. The neighborhood restoration element will focus on economic development activities designed to strengthen legitimate community institutions. Resources should be dedicated to economic development activities designed to strengthen legitimate community institutions. Resources should be dedicated to economic development, provision of economic opportunities for residents, improved public services in the target areas.
Programs will be developed to improve living conditions; enhance home security; allow for low-cost physical improvements; develop long-term efforts to renovate and maintain housing; and to provide educational, economic, social, recreational, and other virtual opportunities. A key feature of this element will be the fostering of self-worth and individual responsibility among community members.
The Upper Darby Welcome Center was established in 2003. This innovative center satisfies a growing need in a township as diversified as Upper Darby.
The Welcome center, located at 7000 Walnut street, is open Monday thru Friday and specializes in offering assistance with immigration questions, state and federal government services, citizenship applications, locating employment, and English as a Second Language.
Services are also offered concerning legal advice, health insurance, and becoming a homeowner.
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