Across the United States, community groups are working to improve public safety and promote greater equity, transparency, and accountability in their local law enforcement agencies. They prioritize different issues and use different strategic tactics, but they are united in their desire to build safer, more just communities through the slow, hard, but lifesaving work of law enforcement reform. If you are part of one of these community groups (or want to be), this Toolkit is for you.
Law enforcement reform is challenging, uphill work. Inequities in law enforcement outcomes are often deep-rooted, complex, and perpetuated by multiple different factors. Institutional resistance to necessary change is frequently strong. Conversations about increasing law enforcement equity too often reach an impasse where advocates, and those they are negotiating with, simply do not agree about what the underlying facts are. Faced with complex problems and limited resources, it can be difficult for community advocates to determine where to focus their efforts.
The ultimate goal of this document is to help you assess aspects of public safety in your community and create or refine a step-by-step plan for influencing relevant stakeholders and creating the change you want to see.