Cities to Advance Local Community Safety

April 28, 2022 - (4 min read)

Washington, D.C. – Today, the National League of Cities (NLC) with the generous support of the Wells Fargo Foundation announced the launch of the Municipalities Reimagining Community Safety Initiative in response to upticks in violence in some cities and the need for coordinated local response. NLC applauds this investment in local action to reduce and prevent violence while advancing new visions for safety in communities.  This contribution is a part of a $10 million commitment made by Wells Fargo, including $6 million dedicated to cities, to fund scalable pilots and programs that explore potential enhancements to community and school safety.

The cities selected to participate in this two-year initiative include Baltimore, MD., Dallas, TX., Jackson, MS., Philadelphia, PA., and St. Louis. MO. Each of these sites have demonstrated their desire to move toward equity driven community safety initiatives that reduce and prevent crime alongside and in conjunction with their residents.

“NLC is excited to announce a new two-year initiative, the Municipalities Reimagining Community Safety Initiative that will help 5 cities address violence through comprehensive and collaborative approaches. The cities of Baltimore, MD, Dallas, TX, Jackson, MS, Philadelphia, PA and St. Louis, MO will receive significant funding and support through this program to organize, focus and expand the safety and violence reduction strategies of municipal agencies and their community partners. This program is made possible thanks to a $6M grant from Wells Fargo. We look forward to highlighting the progress in these cities, and lessons learned for other cities, at upcoming conferences beginning with City Summit 2022.” – Clarence Anthony, CEO & Executive Director of NLC

Through a generous grant provided by Wells Fargo to NLC, cities will receive substantial funding enabling coaching from local and national partners and opportunities to learn from one another as they create, update and implement aspects of their local safety plan. This initiative brings together elected leaders and staff, residents, and local organizations to pursue coordinated, equitable, community-centered, safety efforts. Funded initiatives are intended to spur local action and implementation of recommendations and plans that are established in partnership with Black and Brown communities and paired with measurement and evaluation components.  

“Working together as a community, including with local residents, is how we can arrive at the strongest solutions for community safety. National League of Cities is skilled at bringing stakeholders to the table in a way that sparks action and equity-focused strategies in building safer communities.” – Molly Porter, interim Head of Social Impact at Wells Fargo.

“As part of our commitment to investing in strategies that help communities become more resilient, Wells Fargo is proud to support the National League of Cities in its efforts to promote community and school safety and public well-being.” – Demond Richardson, Lead Social Impact specialist with Wells Fargo who leads the project team responsible for identifying scalable community violence reduction pilots and programs.

Building upon NLC’s recent Reimagining Public Safety Task Force report: A Path Toward Safe and Equitable Cities, this initiative advances the work in cities to expand the use of civilian-led and community-based well-being and prevention-focused strategies with an emphasis on engaging youth and those most impacted while also centering racial equity. 

As cities grapple with the ability to provide safe environments for ALL residents in the face of rising violence despite generally low crime rates, the importance of comprehensive plans, innovation and data driven solutions are paramount. This initiative will ensure that cities are taking the steps toward more equitable community safety.

“I greatly appreciate the ongoing partnership between NLC and my administration, including the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force and City Justice Policy Advisors Network. I am confident that this new initiative focused on expanding current efforts to improve public safety and substantial engagement of residents most impacted by violence will make Baltimore a safer and healthier city.”- Mayor Brandon Scott, Baltimore, MD


The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.