Category: law enforcement

On The Use of Force by Municipal Law Enforcement Officers

On Thursday, June 18, the National League of Cities (NLC) took emergency action and its board of directors unanimously passed a Resolution on the Use of Force by Municipal Law Enforcement Officers.   Local elected leaders have the primary responsibility for ensuring the health and safety of their residents. And right now, for the sake of all of America’s residents, cities, towns and villages across the

Continue reading

Keeping City Workers Safe in the Wake of COVID-19

Protecting health care providers, first responders and other essential employees from the COVID-19 virus is vital to slowing the spread of the pandemic. The CDC has advised that everyone should be wearing cloth masks in public. Accordingly, all front-line staff that interact with the public need some level of personal protective equipment (PPE). However, cities,

Continue reading

Role of Law Enforcement During COVID-19 Pandemic

As states and local governments declare shelter-in-place orders and shut down non-essential businesses, law enforcement officers will need to enforce these rules and disperse crowds of people at gatherings and other events. There is some apprehension that enforcement actions could require detention and fines, which could raise additional public safety and civil liberty concerns. Local government officials’ understanding of the critical role law enforcement

Continue reading

Second Circuit Rules against Cities and States in Sanctuary Jurisdictions Case

In 2006, Congress created the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (Byrne JAG) to provide “flexible” funds for state and local law enforcement programs. Last week, the Second Circuit became the first federal court of appeals to rule in favor of the Attorney General’s decision to add conditions to receiving federal Byrne JAG grants. In

Continue reading

Reducing Jail Use in Birmingham, Alabama

I have advocated for many years that municipal courts are an untapped leader in developing reforms that can measurably reduce local jail populations. The jails are currently filled with citizens who quite simply would be better served without the use of confinement. In November 2017, NLC selected the City of Birmingham, Alabama as one of

Continue reading

Big-Picture Lessons Learned from City Jail Reduction

When we discuss crime, public safety and the reforms needed within our systems, addressing mass incarceration and its inequities are typically considered a high priority. However, what is not always considered as critical in these discussions, is the need for strategic policy changes to address jail reduction in our local systems. Today, NLC released the

Continue reading

Racial Bias in Facial Recognition Technology: What City Leaders Should Know

On July 1 the City of San Francisco effected a ban on facial recognition technology—the first of its kind in the nation.  Aimed at leading with transparency, accountability and equity, the ban passed as part of the city’s Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance.  While the city stopped testing facial recognition technology in 2007 and has not

Continue reading

Implicit Bias, Liability and Cities

We all have bias. An inescapable reality of humanity, bias is the evaluation of one group and its members relative to another and can be implicit or explicit. Implicit bias refers to the way people unconsciously and sometimes unwillingly exhibit feelings, attitudes, and judgments towards other individuals and groups. By understanding the implicit biases embedded

Continue reading

How Local Leaders Can Help Our Most Vulnerable Young People

City governments and city leaders continuously grapple with the costs of the “deep end” of the juvenile justice system. Deep-end youth include the roughly 30,000 young people placed in detention facilities who may be better served in targeted community-based services in the city. Deep-end youth constitute our most vulnerable and marginalized young people. Many deep-end

Continue reading