For decades, police have been the 24-7, one-size-fits-all response to community needs, from stopping violent assaults to picking up stray dogs. This approach does not serve the community well, nor is it working for police. As a result, both the police and the public experience unnecessary harms and threats to their well-being, and underlying problems remain unsolved.
The Policing Project has been on the ground in cities across the country conducting research on alternative first response. Our goal: to design a community-informed, data-driven framework for emergency response systems that is actually responsive to community needs. Called Reimagining Public Safety (RPS), this research project aims to learn from all stakeholders–community members, 911 dispatchers, municipal leadership, and others–what public safety looks like to them, and how to achieve it.
Last month, Policing Project RPS staff presented at the American Sociological Association and the Society for the Study of Social Problems conferences in Los Angeles. RPS team members Katie Camp and Joy Holden presented on how the RPS methodology is used to center community voices in public safety research.
This fall, Reimagining Public Safety, will launch being one of our biggest projects to date.