Policing Reform Campaign Urges ‘New Era’ of Public Safety

Policing News 03.28,19

Civil rights organization launches ‘community-based policing report and toolkit, announces Dallas, Minneapolis projects

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: LaGloria Wheatfall, [email protected], 202.548.7160 

WASHINGTON – The Leadership Conference Education Fund today launched a new campaign, “New Era of Public Safety” featuring groundbreaking tools to increase trust, fairness, justice, and mutual respect between police departments and the communities they serve. The campaign guidebook and toolkit offer community-centered policy solutions to equip U.S. communities and police departments with best practices and recommendations for adopting 21st century policing models, including tools for advocacy. The campaign launch will include a Washington, D.C. kickoff event, featuring leading voices in activism, law enforcement, and journalism.

“Repeated instances of police brutality and misconduct have shaken our nation,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Education Fund. “These incidents have deepened our distrust in law enforcement and reinforced the belief that all people are not policed equally. With this comprehensive guide and toolkit, we hope to renew trust in our nation’s law enforcement by providing tools to put communities first as they work to keep everyone safe.”

True public safety requires that communities and police departments work together, and solutions should be driven by each community, working with the departments that serve them.

The Education Fund’s “New Era of Public Safety” campaign, report, and toolkit provide more than 100 recommendations to reform policing. These recommendations outline a road map for 21st century policing that equips law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve with the knowledge and tools they need to keep communities safe.

Report recommendations include:

  • End “broken windows policing” and other models that emphasize quantity over quality.
  • Maintain and optimize a range of community partnerships.
  • Tailor policing strategies to meet the needs of specific neighborhoods.
  • Encourage communities to participate in the development and delivery of community policing training.
  • Ensure officers inform community members of their rights to refuse or revoke consent and to document it.
  • Develop stand-alone policies for fair and objective interactions with specific groups.
  • Collect, analyze, and publicly report data relating to bias-based policing.

The Education Fund also named Dallas, Texas and Minneapolis, Minnesota as inaugural jurisdictions to implement “New Era” recommendations. These pilot projects will provide local advocacy and strategic partnerships for organizations and activists to implement best policing practices through issue-centered campaigns.

The Education Fund will launch the campaign at an event on March 28 at 5:00 p.m. ET at the Eaton Hotel in Washington, D.C. The event will feature remarks from Education Fund President & CEO Vanita Gupta, and a panel discussion moderated by the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery, and featuring Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson; Center for Policing Equity Co-Founder and President Phillip Atiba Goff; and Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of Advancement Project. The event will be livestreamed here, with a chance for online viewers to submit their questions.

A collaborative assembly of community advocates and law enforcement served as contributing authors throughout the process. They include: Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; the Policing Project at NYU School of Law; Ron Davis, partner, 21CP Solutions, LLC, and former director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ); Scott Thomson, chief of the Camden County Police Department, and president of the Police Executive Research Forum; and Sue Rahr, executive director, Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission. These experts provided key insights into the development of the report. Andrea Ritchie and Wesley Ware contributed to the concept and content for the toolkit. Julio A. Thompson also provided significant and invaluable contributions to the report.

The “New Era of Public Safety” guidebook are toolkit are available here.

###

The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for federal policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. The Education Fund’s campaigns empower and mobilize advocates around the country to push for progressive change in the United States. It was founded in 1969 as the education and research arm of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. For more information on The Education Fund, visit https://civilrights.org/edfund/.