Dallas Civil Rights Advocates Launch Partner-Led Campaign to Improve Policing Practices

Policing News 09.23.19

Contact: Kenny Yi, [email protected], 202.466.2735

DALLAS – The Leadership Conference Education Fund and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights this past weekend introduced the organizations’ Policing Campaign, report, and toolkit for Dallas to advance 21st century and data-driven best practices in policing. The introduction occurred during a panel discussion on “Bridging the Gap: Past, Present, and Future of Policing in Dallas,” with local policing campaign manager Changa Higgins interviewing Diane Ragsdale, managing director of the South Dallas Fair Park Innercity Community Development Corporation, and Marvin Crenshaw, civil rights and anti-apartheid activist. Dallas Police Department Chief Renee Hall and Dallas City Council member Casey Thomas gave opening remarks highlighting the importance of community-police relationships before a crowd of organizers and activists.

The Education Fund’s “New Era of Public Safety: A Guide to Fair, Safe, and Effective Community Policing” 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.

“You cannot be a police chief or police officer in the 21st century and not work alongside the community,” said Dallas Police Department Chief Renee Hall during her opening remarks. “We are a community. There is no us against them – there is only we.”

“I’m honored to be able to say that I was a part of the council that unanimously passed the Police Oversight Board,” said Dallas City Council member Casey Thomas. “We’re just beginning and there’s much work to be done, but we’re so much further along than we were before.”

“We must transform the way that law enforcement interact with communities and emphasize their role as guardians of public safety,” said Lynda Garcia, policing campaign director at The Leadership Conference. “True public safety requires that communities and police departments work together to find solutions both driven by and built for each community.”

“Dallas is moving closer to being a true 21st century police department with the implementation of a new oversight board, but the work is not done,” said Changa Higgins, Dallas policing campaign consultant at The Leadership Conference Education Fund. “The next step is exactly what our project at The Leadership Conference hopes to achieve – a deep analysis of department data to shape new policies that improve public trust and safety for everyone in the city.”

The full report and 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 civilrights.org/edfund/.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.