PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After a new community initiative was implemented this year, Holladay Park has already shown progress.

Police looked at several months of dispatch call data from May through July and compared it to the same dates in 2018. Officials say disturbance calls are down 18%, theft calls dropped 45%, and the number of reported assaults was cut in half.

Officials say it’s in large part due to the safety plan that brought more than a dozen local business, churches and programs with several levels of government to invest more community effort in the area.

“They want us to be the presence in the park,” said Kris Carico, the CEO of SOLVE. “They’re trying to not have police be the presence in the park and have it be a community-led event.”

“I’m just thrilled that we’re involved, I’m thrilled that we’re making a difference in the area, and when police approached us initially we were over the moon about getting involved,” she said.

That’s something people appreciate around here.

“I’d much rather see community involvement, people picking up trash, just using the park – as a much better way of improving life for everyone,” Johanna Mead, a community member who works nearby told KOIN. “I hope that continues and I hope the city can support those ongoing community efforts.”

Organizers are celebrating the halfway point of the program and the progress being made by holding another barbeque in the park next Wednesday at 2 p.m.

Several organizations said they plan to continue their work in the area even after the safety plan officially ends in September.