Mayor Kapszukiewicz Launches Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement to Foster Community Partnership in Public Safety Efforts

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz announced today the creation of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE), a pivotal step towards building stronger partnerships between the community and local government to enhance public safety and the well-being of residents. The new office will play a critical role in developing and implementing a comprehensive public safety plan, with a focus on community engagement and building capacity and connectivity within the existing safety ecosystem.

Mayor Kapszukiewicz expressed his enthusiasm for the establishment of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, stating, "Creating this office is an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to enhance public safety and build stronger, more connected neighborhoods. By engaging with community members, partner organizations, and even other city departments, we can better coordinate our efforts to continue building upon the positive momentum we’ve seen."

Leading this new initiative as the Director of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement is Malcolm Cunningham, a seasoned professional with a strong background in community engagement, program design, and public health. Cunningham's extensive experience, including his previous roles at ProMedica Health System and the Zepf Center, makes him an ideal candidate to guide this vital office.

"I am excited to have the opportunity to serve as the Director of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement and to engage with the partners who have been doing this work for so long," said Malcolm Cunningham. “Public health isn’t just intervening downstream, it’s about going further upstream and seeing where the issues begin.”

The newly formed Action Table and Executive Table, comprising community members, will provide guidance, oversight, and input on the comprehensive public safety plan. The first meeting of the Action Table took place last night at the Glass City Pavilion and was the first community meeting following the series of public input sessions conducted in late February.

“There was a sentiment among the grassroots activists that things are getting better, particularly our youth programs,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said, reflecting on the meeting. “This announcement comes at a time when we’re not responding to a negative trend, but trying to build upon some positive momentum we’ve seen.

Toledo is receiving technical assistance from Cities United, a non-profit organization that provides support to cities engaged in public safety initiatives. Anthony Smith, a representative from Cities United, arrived on Monday, May 22, and will be in Toledo through Wednesday, May 24, to assist in getting the new office up and running. Smith's expertise and guidance will further strengthen Toledo's commitment to effective community engagement and collaborative public safety strategies.

Toledo Police Chief Mike Troendle expressed his support for the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, recognizing the significance of community involvement in ensuring public safety. Chief Troendle stated, “Any time we can get someone to help us engage the community, I’m on board. I applaud Mayor Kapszukiewicz's initiative and I’m looking forward to working with Malcolm. By working together and engaging community members, I believe we can foster trust, strengthen partnerships, and create safer neighborhoods for all Toledo residents."

The City of Toledo recently received a grant from the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS) to support the expansion of the violence interruption program, Save Our Community, into local high schools. This grant will further the intervention work being done to reach those most at risk and continue the investment in initiatives that address the root causes of violence and create a safer environment for its youth.

“As a council, we have been clear that public safety is a number one priority,” Councilwoman Dr. Tiffany Preston Whitman shared. “It’s important that we be organized internally, so we can work better with our community partners. This office and Malcolm’s position is another step in the right direction to continue making progress.”

Residents who wish to be involved in shaping the future of public safety in Toledo are encouraged to participate in two key actions. First, they can take the survey, which will provide valuable insights into the specific safety concerns and priorities of each neighborhood. Second, residents are urged to subscribe to email updates to stay informed about upcoming opportunities and meetings. You can do both of these things at:

Mayor Kapszukiewicz's commitment to enhancing public safety in Toledo is reinforced by the establishment of the Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement. By engaging community members, collaborating with stakeholders, and implementing effective strategies, the city aims to create a safer, more vibrant Toledo for all its residents.


Watch It Again

News Conference

Mayor Kapszukiewicz, Chief Troendle, Councilwoman Whitman, Director Cunningham, and Ramon Perez share details on the new Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement at a news conference on May 23, 2023.