A Deeper Look at Public Safety and Policing

The June Reservoir Hill Community Meeting included a great discussion on public safety strategies led by New Lens Productions and No Boundaries Coalition, and participated in by Central District Acting Major Howe and Officer Horne.   About 45 people attended the Community Meeting.  There was a great deal of discussion about points being raised by the panel, and it was heartening  to see ideas about deeper systemic changes being well received and vibrantly discussed.

We wanted the panel to guide a discussion that stepped beyond the temporary fixes that often follow upon an incident of violence.  We wanted to explore how we might use the recent crises and the aftermath in Baltimore to create long lasting, systemic changes that keep our communities safe while also getting at the root of problems that give rise to urban violence.  The program delved into systemic problems communities face in policing, and actions being taken to improve policing and police-community relations in West Baltimore communities.

Because we want to get out of the cycle of temporary responses to drug marketing and related violence in communities, RHIC is exploring ways to support exploration of longer term changes and build an advocacy agenda for promoting them.

Below are two items that will offer insight into the discussions at the Community Meeting:

  1. The power point presentation given by New Lens at the Community Meeting.  In 2009-2010 New Lens gathered police and youth for 6 weeks for a series of conversations about the root cause for the tensions that exist between the two groups. This dialogue became the springboard for designing a police training, which New Lens ultimately implemented with about two thirds of the department.  They emerged from this work with a deeper understanding and data to share about why tensions are not likely to shift enough to end incidents like the Freddie Gray incident from happening.  The project resulted in a set of recommendations and thoughts about the kinds of interventions that are needed to more structurally change the system so it works better for police and community.  The presentation offers the data and ideas resulting from that 2009 project.  To download the presentation, Click Here!
  2. A piece by one of the presenters, Rebecca Yenawine that summarizes many of the points made at the Community Meeting.  http://www.audaciousideas.org/2015/06/why-baltimore-wont-get-justice-from-police/