Center for Policing Equity Releases Critical Steps for Exploring How Public Safety Resources are Allocated

July 27 2020

Today, the Center for Policing Equity (CPE) released a set of recommendations for communities considering new models of public safety. Nationwide demonstrations against police violence have sparked long overdue conversations around reallocating public safety resources and reinvesting in our most vulnerable communities. As cities begin reimagining what public safety can look like, CPE has outlined five initial steps communities can take to assess how public safety is working for them now, shrink the current footprint of law enforcement on vulnerable populations, and avoid fears of rising violence.

The goal is to give communities a set of tools to gauge what resources—law enforcement or otherwise—they need in order to keep themselves safe. Taken together, they make up a kind of first step in creating a roadmap for conversations about the future of public safety. They allow for a better public understanding of how cities are using current public safety resources and allow for more informed decisions about whether or not those resources are appropriate for addressing community problems. While the ability to stand up social services and assess the rollout processes will require a diverse skillset and time to implement, the communities that demand these conversations will not be satisfied by government action that is not informed by a plan. 

“Any reimagining of public safety must include a conversation about matching the right resources to the right problems. Mental health professionals should be dispatched for mental health crises. Firefighters for fires. EMTS for medical emergencies.” said Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, Co-founder and CEO, Center for Policing Equity. “The steps we have outlined are not exhaustive, but we hope they will be a starting point for leaders wanting to advance conversations about how to create safe communities for their most vulnerable residents.”

Budgets are under unprecedented strain amidst the global pandemic. With the help of AH Datalytics, a consulting firm focused on bringing 21st century analytics to the organizations serving the public good, CPE has identified the following steps to structure the conversation on reallocating public safety resources. Each step can be undertaken serially or simultaneously and responds to a specific question about how a new allocation might proceed.

More information on the outlined principles can be found here.


About Center for Policing Equity: As a research and action organization, Center for Policing Equity (CPE) produces analyses identifying and reducing the causes of racial disparities in law enforcement. Using evidence-based approaches to social justice, we use data to create levers for social, cultural and policy change. Center for Policing Equity also holds a 501(c)3 status.