2018 Champion City

Chelsea, MA : 2018 Champion City

Reducing Crime with Preventative Care

  • 39,699

  • Thomas Ambrosino

    City Manager
  • 4 years

    Length of Contract
  • Saftey

    Issue Area

The Problem

The city’s violent crime rate, the third highest in the state, directly affects 6,000 people in Chelsea each year and is driven largely by gangs and drug-related crimes.

The Idea

The City of Chelsea will scale the proven “Hub” crime prevention strategy where a team of community and government agencies meet weekly to identify individuals or families facing elevated levels of risk for crime, and create a customized plan for immediate services.

What Thomas Ambrosino, City Manager of Chelsea, MA is saying:

This opportunity will allow us to continue our work to alleviate the root causes of violence, poverty, and homelessness in Chelsea—and to connect residents to the help they need.


Our prototyping journey

    Let's Go

  • How we are testing our idea

    This idea will impact individuals who are at risk of crime and often not connected to services, or the services they are connected to
    are siloed.

    Dan Cortez, Community Engagement Specialist, Chelsea Police Department

    Chelsea will test ways to increase the reach of the "Hub", a weekly convening of justice officials, social workers, and other community members, by including other types of community stakeholders (e.g. schools) and converting paper records to an online portal for better tracking.

  • Ideas into action

  • What we’re discovering through testing

    Through the test and learn phase, the Chelsea team has identified the value of improving the coordinated care between Hub partners. This coordination will ensure that the individuals helped don’t fall through the cracks (as they have in the past due to inconsistence in agency communications). The team is testing a digital platform that allows agencies to collaboratively journal an individual’s significant steps six months or more down the line.

    Through their work with The Hub, Chelsea has found that bringing providers together in a room has helped them to form relationships centered around better outcomes for citizens. The Hub has become the connector of all the providers: people who usually work separately and wouldn’t talk to each other, are now primed to collaborate.

    Agencies are receiving a tool - unintended by any of us - to record interactive, collaborative engagements to get people out of harm's way.

    Dan Cortez, Community Engagement Specialist, Chelsea Police Department
  • Reflections

  • What we've learned

    As other cities begin to show interest in Chelsea's hub model, the team found it important to understand which of the key components make it successful. They realized that the most valuable aspect of their model is its potential to impact on communities. Their focus now is on promoting community safety and wellbeing, not just the Hub.

    We have high tech solutions to these problems, but so much of it comes back to basic level of human connection; having someone there to support you.

    Jessica Kahlenberg, Innovation and Strategy Adviser