Mission Statement: Provide the highest level of safety, and protect public health and the environment from toxic harm.
In 1998, Kelling and Catherine M. Coles coauthored Prosecution in the Community: A Study of Emergent Strategies, a pioneering work that describes the community prosecu‐ tion model.19 For Kelling and Coles, the model is an emerging and new prosecution strategy. Prosecutors set new priorities in their cases that reflect determinations by citizens as to which offenses are most serious and which are of greatest significance to the local commu‐ nity. Outcomes change and broaden to include improved quality of neighborhood life, man‐ agement of environmental problems, lowered levels of fear and greater citizen empower‐ ment, confidence and satisfaction.
Who Joins In DTSC’s EJ Enforcement Initiative?*
EJ people DTSC staff Other govt University DA assn Biz reps
Working with the community is a goal in itself. This activity naturally shapes the de‐ velopment of tactics, organizational modes and desired outcomes. “Community prosecu‐ tors, in particular, make it a regular practice to report back to representatives of local neighborhoods on the outcomes and progress of specific cases of interest.” 20
The Initiative is a hybrid of the above‐ referenced models. It is most effective when the community, enforcement agencies and local prosecutors work collaboratively to ad‐ dress and reduce existing environmental harms and understand potential harms as well as the patterns of harms. 21
DTSC is unique as the only depart‐ ment, board or office in California’s Environ‐ mental Protection Agency that employs sworn peace officers. Like cops in other areas of en‐ ————————
19 Catherine M. Coles and Kelling, George L. (with the assistance of Mark H. Moore), Prosecution in the Commu‐ nity: A Study of Emergent Strategies, A Cross Site Analysis, September 1998, Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 79 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.
20 21 Ibid. Malcolm K. Sparrow, The Character of Harms: Opera‐ tional Challenges in Control, p. 11.
*Average distribution of attendees across all events.
forcement, the DTSC peace officers have the powers of arrest and search and seizure and thereby bring to EJ communities the ability to conduct criminal investigations of environmental violations when warranted. The most effective deterrent to egregious environmental violations is criminal enforcement.
One reason the Initiative has been suc‐ cessful: It draws on the expertise of criminal in‐ vestigators and the specialized staff and enforce‐ ment personnel from local, state and federal government agencies. Indeed, we have found that the work of our criminal investigators in EJ communities has led to multi‐media investiga‐ tions and prosecutions. The Initiative facilitates the multi‐media investigations by connecting people who live closest to environmental harms directly with investigators and regulators in Cali‐ fornia’s complex environmental enforcement structure.
DTSC has partnered with other agencies, including local police and fire departments, code enforcement officers and district attorney inves‐ tigators, to conduct “enforcement strikes” in which multi‐media enforcement teams are sent into heavily impacted neighborhoods identified by the community. Officials conduct broad‐based, multi‐agency inspections that result in compli‐ ance and cleanup of contaminated sites.