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Police Response

A homeless camp

Our vision for community safety is one in which police use arrest sparingly and equitably, people in crisis receive the help they need, and policies at all levels of government support community well-being.

Government leaders have charged police with addressing complex problems like homelessness, mental health crises, and substance use without giving them the tools or capacity to do so effectively. That, coupled with a long history of police responding aggressively to minor crimes, has contributed to record-setting incarceration rates, unsustainable expenditures by taxpayers, and long-term consequences for individuals and communities. These harms are most acutely felt by Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. 

We aim to support policymakers, advocates, researchers, and law enforcement agencies who are critically examining the footprint of policing and crisis response. To that end, we’re working with states and counties to pilot, test, and scale innovative practices to transform the 911 system and the response to calls for service; to support the expansion of non-custodial alternatives and pre-arrest diversion programs; and to enable the monitoring of police responses, focusing on racial disparities in enforcement trends. 

Image: A police officer and social worker talk with a homeless man camping on private property in Everett, Washington, in November 2017. (Ted S. Warren/The Associated Press)

1 in 3
Americans who will have experienced an arrest by age 23. The rate among Black American men is almost 1 in 2. Source
Proportion of fatal officer-involved shootings that involve a person with signs of mental illness Source
Number of arrests made in the United States in 2017; serious violent offenses constitute less than 5 percent Source
Number of calls to 911 every year; very few are in response to violent crime Source

Requests for Proposals