In the wake of the murder of George Floyd and subsequent national uprisings, NLC centers and staff came together to support city led efforts to reimagine public safety. This work, a collaborative effort between Federal Advocacy, The Center for City Solutions, Race Equity and Leadership, Membership and the Institute for Youth, Education and Families, brings together thought partners from both within and external to NLC and is centered in supporting municipal leaders as they take steps toward more equitable systems locally.   

Through various initiatives over the years, NLC has connected with cities around justice reform and public safety. However, this is the first cross-center effort to address big picture movements in the direction of true public safety in our cities, towns and villages. Thus far, publications, forums and other meetings have been held to come together around promising practice and policy. But, we know that these conversations and steps are just the start of our work in this space.  

Some of the key focus areas of this group have fallen within the categories below: 

  • City fiscal conditions and funding public safety systems 
  • Violence intervention and prevention  
  • Alternative or innovative responses to calls for law enforcement  
  • Jail reduction strategies  
  • Community Engagement  
  • Policing (use of force, training, recruitment, right sizing the role of police) 
  • Racial Equity across systems  

“It is possible to turn a system on its head if there is a spirit of collaboration and cooperation among all actors and stakeholders and a clear inclusion of the community and impacted voices.” 

Laurie Garduque (Director of Criminal Justice with the MacArthur Foundation)

If you are interested in learning more about our work in reimagining public safety please email us at to receive updates from our team.