Celebrating 15 Years of Reducing Harm and Redesigning Public Safety

By , CPE Staff

“We see both the need for a radical vision and a need to work within the institutions that exist today.”

Dr. Phillip Atiba Solomon, CPE Co-founder and CEO

Today, the Center for Policing Equity turns 15!

Our organization began when Dr. Phillip Atiba Solomon, a psychologist and researcher, and Dr. Tracie L. Keesee, a police chief and veteran law enforcement officer, embarked on a journey to reduce racial disparities in policing. A debate that started while eating dinner at the Policing and Racial Bias Conference evolved into an organization of advocates, academics, former law enforcement, and data scientists obsessed with creating just and equitable public safety systems across the globe.

As we advance in our teen years, we’re taking stock of who we are and reflecting on where we’ve been, how we’ve grown, and what we’re looking forward to.

We are ambitious. Our first major undertaking was creating the first national database to examine police behavior—the National Justice Database. We’ve collected over a million data points from law enforcement agencies nationwide and are still going. We see the 15,000+ law enforcement agencies across the country, all with different data tracking methods, and accept the challenge of bringing intentional methodology to spur data-driven reforms.

We are innovative. We worked with Google.org engineers to turn the data from our National Justice Database into our Justice Navigator—an interactive tool that communities use to examine racial disparities in their local police departments. We take data off its pedestal and make it usable—we do and use good science.

We are thorough. Our work extends beyond police departments. Our Policy and Community Engagement teams work on the ground with elected officials, community-based organizations, and concerned residents to help communities redesign their public safety systems to be equitable and just. We roll up our sleeves, make the phone call, draft the proposal, set up chairs, attend the hearing, and listen to concerns. We show up with care and lead with humility. We understand that this is the work.

We tell the truth. Our Science team and crew of academics work to produce research and analysis that pushes our collective understanding of police behavior to new limits. We battle White supremacist logic with rigorous data science, methodology, and analyses.

We are growing, learning, and changing. Like any 15-year-old, we are ever-evolving. We meet the needs of moments that emerge—moments of crisis, tragedy, urgency, change, and victory. We work with communities to create new visions for the future and to build the capacity of a new generation of activists, data scientists, and engaged citizens. We offer tools not only to dismantle existing systems but to build new ones.

We are ready to fight. We acknowledge the seriousness and struggle required in our current reality and meet it with sound strategy, a firm intellectual foundation, and resolve. We show up to this work with an extraordinary amount of expertise, unyielding optimism, and a clear vision of a liberated future for Black, Brown, and all marginalized people. We do all we do to help people get free. For our 15th birthday, we ask you to join us in this fight.

“Our role is to make people see what’s possible in the impossible.”

– Dr. Tracie L. Keesee, CPE Co-founder, President, and COO

Email Divider FFB100

Individuals like you power all of our work. Consider donating today to support programming like this and other critical public safety redesign work.