Case #1063.0

A Denver Neighborhood Tackles Crack

Publication Date: January 01, 1991
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A new "block watch" organization springs up in Denver's Whittier neighborhood, in response to an invasion of big-time drug dealers. In the succeeding months, the organization badgers police and city agencies, some of which had never seen anti-drug activity as their role, for action. When efforts appear to prove successful, there is disagreement as to the role of the community group. Some in city government dismiss block watch organizer Jan Johnson as a gadfly, whose efforts neither galvanized nor otherwise influenced the police department and other agencies. Others see Johnson, who took to calling the police on dozens of occasions, as a key actor in the drama.

Learning Objective:
The case allows for discussion of both the immediate topic of police-community relations, as well as more general discussion of the ways in which government entities judge and make use of involved citizens.

Other Details

Case Author:
Harvey Simon
Pages (incl. exhibits):
United States
Funding Source:
National Institute of Justice