Partnering with communities and police departments to rethink public safety and renew trust in policing
All people deserve to feel safe in their homes, communities, and country. Safety is a civil and human right without which people cannot thrive and democracy cannot function. But our nation’s approach to public safety — and whom it protects — is at odds with our shared values of fairness, equity, and justice.
Protecting communities and maintaining safety has long been a core responsibility of police. They are first responders to emergencies, behavioral health crises, and violent crime. Yet our county has a troubled history of policing. From early slave patrols to the modern-day criminalization of people of color, policing has sowed deep distrust of law enforcement across our nation. That history is alive today, borne out in disparities in practices ranging from stops and searches to arrests and use of force.
To ensure that police officers serve and protect people in all communities, our sister organization, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, launched a national campaign to strengthen policing through community-centered, collaborative reform. By integrating community voices into police policies and practices, developing a shared language to restore trust between departments and communities, and bringing people with diverse perspectives to the decision-making table, the Policing Campaign is rethinking public safety to create a safer and stronger nation for us all.
Community voices must be at the center of law enforcement. When police departments and communities work together toward common goals, they build trust in the nation’s police force, ensure police policies and practices align with community values and uphold people’s civil rights, and strengthen public safety. We have the power, individually and collectively, to reorient how we think about public safety and drive meaningful change.
The Power of Data
Data is a lever for social change. We are working with communities and local police departments to collect data about police policies and practices. With robust data, police departments and communities can address systemic injustice, improve policing culture, and repair relationships with various community groups. Transparency and accountability are critical to advancing 21st century policing and ensuring that police comply with civil rights laws and protections.
We all have a role to play in shaping policing and public safety in our communities. Here are a few ways to make your voice heard in the movement for racial justice and police accountability.
Justice Department Dodges Meaningful Dialogue on Policing and Justice Reform
WASHINGTON —The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and ten civil rights organizations have submitted a letter to Attorney General Barr expressing grave concerns about an exclusive convening on policing consent decrees and settlement agreements. Barr promised during his Senate confirmation hearing to meet with civil rights organizations regarding policing and justice reform. But the Department never responded to the request that followed from The Leadership Conference and other organizations for a meeting on these critical issues.
Policing Reform Campaign Urges ‘New Era’ of Public Safety
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.
EVENT: The Leadership Conference Education Fund to Launch National Policing Campaign for a New Era of Public Safety
WASHINGTON – Now, more than ever, is the time to rethink public safety and renew community trust. On March 28, 2019 at 5 p.m. ET, The Leadership Conference Education Fund will present a “New Era of Public Safety” and kick off the organization’s Policing Campaign, report, and toolkit for communities across the country to advance 21st century and data-driven best practices in policing.
Interested in learning more about The Education Fund’s Policing Campaign, sharing a story about your experience with policing, or getting involved? Contact our team and let us know your thoughts.