Category: Public Safety

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,

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Retooling Criminal Justice Responses for Equity and Continued Public Safety

Cities have already begun to alter arrest and detention practices in order to support social or physical distancing and related measures in response to COVID-19. In many cases, these alterations continue efforts underway to retool local public safety efforts to rely less on high and disproportionate arrest and incarceration rates. Sustained momentum with such practices will reduce risks for several groups:   The nation’s three million first responders;   Persons experiencing mental health crises, substance use disorder issues, and homelessness, who might otherwise go to jail;  

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Cities Lobby Congress on Substance Use, Mental Health and Homelessness

Every day cities, towns, and villages across the country face challenges posed by mental illness, substance use disorder and homelessness. An effective response by municipal leaders requires a comprehensive, multi-sector approach. On Wednesday, October 30, the National League of Cities held a briefing on Capitol Hill so that local leaders could tell Congress what they need,

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Ten Ways to Protect Your City from Cyberattacks

Every hour, 26% of local governments report a cyberattack. But according to a new NLC analysis, done in partnership with the Public Technology Institute, nearly a quarter don’t have a cybersecurity plan that is designed to protect government information systems from attack/provide steps for recovery in case of attack. Fortunately, we have recommendations for how you can

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Lessons from Cities of Opportunity Pilot Initiative Drive Launch of New Technical Assistance RFP

The following presents brief highlights of the work of twelve cities in the Cities of Opportunity pilot. Based on what’s learned from these cities, NLC is launching recruitment for a new cohort and invite cities to apply. Click here to access the RFP. Cities of Opportunity are places where all residents can reach their full

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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

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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

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What Triage Centers Mean for Cities, First-Responders and People in Crisis

Triage centers provide a strong opportunity to bring first responders and community-based service providers together to effectively address behavioral health crises and improve quality of life across a city. City leaders across the country are prioritizing better police responses to people suffering behavioral health crises, which include mental health or substance abuse crises.  Triage centers

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How Small Cities Can Address Addiction

Too often people suffering with addiction end up entangled in the criminal justice system, as substance misuse and addiction continue to increase across the nation as cities grapple with how to tackle the epidemic. Small cities can face the daunting challenge of addressing similar rates of addiction with less resources than larger cities. In November at

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