Each year, the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Police Department awards the Citizen’s Award to a civilian who distinguishes themselves through the furtherance of law enforcement and community safety. On December 15, 2017, this award was given to Mark Singer, PhD, the Leonard W. Mayo Professor in Family and Child Welfare at the Mandel School and Deputy Director of the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education.

Chief Executive Officer and Safety Director Jeffery Patterson and Chief of Police Andrés González presented the award to Dr. Singer, which read as follows:


Law enforcement, social work, and academia are the heart, mind, and hands of the community. It is essential that, across each of those seemingly separate worlds, we work together and that we believe in a spirit of cooperation and community.

Dr. Mark Singer epitomizes the qualities of service to others and genuine spirit of community well-being that anchor law enforcement, social work, and academia. One of the first to promote the phrase “first social responder,” Dr. Singer has demonstrated a true appreciation and understanding for the difficult, unique, and crucial role of law enforcement in our community. He somehow manages to “think like a cop” while still “seeing the world as a social worker.”

Dr. Singer not only believes that police officers genuinely care about the citizens they serve; he has spent a good part of his career working to create programs, influence policies, and provide the resources to bridge law enforcement, social work, and academia – to help our community agencies work together to provide the services needed to promote the safety and well-being of children, families, and individuals. As our PAR cards have read for nearly a decade, “Help is on the way,” and that help is thanks, in large part, to Dr. Singer’s vision and dedication.

Dr. Singer has earned the respect of officers because he continually strives to bring the worlds of law enforcement, social work, and academia together and champions our efforts on local and national stages.

For [his] commitment to advance safety and willingness to make a difference, it is our honor to recognize [him] with this Citizen’s Award.


Chief González added, “We are extremely fortunate and proud to have Dr. Mark Singer serve as an advisor to the CMHA Police Department.  His input, recommendations and involvement with our team has made us a better department.”

“Dr. Singer’s work in training police officers is outstanding. He is well-deserving of this recognition for his commendable service to the community and law enforcement,” said Grover C. Gilmore, PhD, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Dean in Applied Social Sciences.

Dr. Singer leads the Police Assisted Referral (PAR) program, an evidence-informed collaboration among the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) Police Department, FrontLine, the Partnership for a Safer Cleveland, and the Begun Center.

The initiative focuses on children and their families, with particular emphasis on individuals who have experienced violence, either as a witness and/or victim. PAR creates a conduit for CMHA police officers to connect a large (and far too often ignored) number of violence-exposed youths and their families to MHS for services, including education, screening, and treatment.

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