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Policing

Law enforcement must act in service to communities by promoting public safety with reverence for life and dignity, and by upholding constitutional and human rights of all persons regardless of race, ethnicity, identity, or economic status.

American policing is at a crossroads, with many challenges standing in the way of effective policing. A lack of transparency and accountability, along with a failure to confront both historic and current racism in policing, has resulted in a law enforcement system that is often unreceptive to change and too frequently falls short of its fundamental task of protecting and serving all communities fairly and effectively. We have asked police to solve complex issues such as homelessness, community violence, and substance use, without giving officers the tools or resources to do so, or properly resourcing what makes communities safe: investments in education, health, and housing. In addition, police too often rely on punitive enforcement and unnecessary force, particularly against Black, Brown, and Indigenous people, which has undermined trust in law enforcement and harmed the communities they serve.

Given these problems, and in support of our vision for policing, Arnold Ventures aims to catalyze change by focusing on two distinct areas of opportunity: Police Accountability and Community Safety. In our Police Accountability work, we support researchers and advocates to change state and local laws so law enforcement is more accountable to their communities. In our Community Safety work, we’re focused on rethinking the role of police and considering new approaches in Violence Reduction and Crisis Response.

Image: Officer Jim Lopez of the Camden County Police Department talks with Omar Headen, 13, during a Camden County Police Day of Action. The new Camden County Police Department was officially created in May 2013 after the unionized Camden Police department was disbanded in an overhaul that was considered unprecedented. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Policing Grants

$74,481,545

>209M
Estimated number of calls to 911 each year, a majority of which are unrelated to emergencies or crimes in progress
80%
Proportion of the 10.7 million arrests made in 2016 that were for low-level offenses
1 in 3
Americans who will experience arrest by the age of 23; the rate among Black American men is almost 1 in 2
53%
Proportion of murders of African-Americans over the last decade that never led to an arrest, across 52 of the nation’s largest cities

Requests for Proposals

Grants

Arnold Ventures funds projects to understand problems and identify policy solutions.

Map of the U.S. made of Arnold Ventures icons