In the spring of 2020, and in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, hundreds of thousands of protestors took to the streets in more than 2,000 cities and towns demanding justice and an end to racist policing. Over the last six months, our country’s urgent call for police reform has challenged law enforcement agencies to make systemic change.
The Center for Policing Equity (CPE) is a key resource to this change. In recent years it has partnered with over 45 police departments nationwide, enabling those departments to deliver data-driven interventions that impact more than 63 million people.
CPE works directly with police to measure bias behaviors and revise policies that result in fewer people injured or killed, and fewer people in jail. With their research scientists, race and equity experts, data analysts, and community trainers, CPE partners with police departments to diagnose the roots of disparate policing in order to eliminate them, and additionally recommends policies and procedures to ensure public safety for vulnerable communities.
During spring and summer of 2020, CPE received more than 1,000 phone calls from activists, law enforcement, elected leaders, and journalists seeking answers about how to move from the broken systems we have to the ones we need to build. CPE policy recommendations enacted by police departments during this time created significant change for more than 9 million people. These included bans on neck and carotid restraints, bans on tear gas and no-knock warrants and the implementation of duty to intervene policies between officers. Additionally, CPE’s recommended crowd control measures were adopted by partnering law enforcement agencies (these measures expressly respect the First Amendment rights of protesters and counter protesters).
Making systemic change to policing and public safety has been historically underfunded, but in 2019 CPE was able to scale its work dramatically through new philanthropic support from Mountain and others. In turn, CPE went from ‘ready to grow’ to ‘go time’ within a few months.