Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office SAFE PLACE
What is the SAFE PLACE Initiative?
The Safe Place initiative is a law enforcement-sponsored concept that enhances public education regarding the reporting of bias incidents and hate crimes. The Safe Place program is an active collaboration between the police, businesses, social organizations, and schools designed to assist in making communities a safer place to live. Any individual who sees the Safe Place logo will know that the business, organization, or location will provide a safe space for someone to call 911 for assistance should they feel unsafe.
This program is for ALL hate crimes that include, but are not limited to race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, mental, physical, or sensory disabilities, homelessness, marital status, political ideology, age, or parental status.
Individuals requiring assistance will be treated with care, dignity, and respect by participating businesses, organizations, schools, and responding police departments. HCPO SAFE PLACE is not designed for residential use.
The SAFE PLACE program was developed by the Seattle Police Department to assist victims of Hate Crimes and Student Bullying and they have approved our use of this initiative in Hunterdon County.
Which businesses, social organizations, and schools can participate in HCPO SAFE PLSCE?
ALL of these entities are able to participate in the HCPO SAFE PLACE Initiative, as long as they follow the two requirements listed below. The Safe Place Program is ZERO COST to businesses, organizations, and participating schools. HCPO Safe Place is free to join.
What are my responsibilities to join?
Although this is a voluntary concept, there are responsibilities to become a member of HCPO SAFE PLACE. That responsibility is simple, requiring you to train/educate your employees/staff to do two things:
1. If a victim of any crime (especially a hate crime) enters your premises, call 911 immediately.
2. Allow the victim to remain on your premise until police.
If the victim leaves prior to police arrival, call back 911 and provide a physical description of the victim and/or suspect(s), direction of travel and any injuries that you may have observed. As with any emergency situation, your staff should use due care and caution when providing the victims of a bias incident or crime safe shelter, while being mindful of the safety of your patrons, co-workers, and compliance with existing organizational policies.
How does my organization become an HCPO SAFE PLACE Participant?
Simply contact the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office at HCSafePlace@co.hunterdon.nj.us or your local police department.
Where does my organization put the HCPO SAFE PLACE Decal?
The 4×6-inch decal should be placed at the main public entrance, 3-5 feet off the ground and easily visible to anyone walking past your premise. If the location is within a school or organization, it should be placed in a location that would afford the individual needing assistance, the ability to seek refuge for authorities to be called.
For more information:
Please send us an inquiry at HCSafePlaceHCSafePlace@co.hunterdon.nj.us