Law Enforcement

Policies to expand access to psychedelics could be ‘short-sighted’

While research shows psychedelics’ potential to mitigate the effects of substance use disorders, observers warn states might be better off waiting for federal guidance before legalizing their use and possession.

Cities know that the way police respond to mental crisis calls must change. But how?

Cities are experimenting with new ways to meet the rapidly increasing demand for behavioral health crisis intervention, at a time when incidents of police shooting and killing people in mental health crisis have become painfully familiar.

Active shooter training: State-specific requirements for schools and law enforcement

No states mandate annual active shooter training for police officers, according to an analysis by The Texas Tribune, ProPublica and FRONTLINE. In comparison, at least 37 states require such training in schools, typically on a yearly basis.

Car thefts and carjackings are up. Unreliable data makes it hard to pinpoint why.

Experts caution against making policy based on anecdotal evidence on social media.

Police departments are turning to AI to sift through millions of hours of unreviewed body-cam footage

Body camera video equivalent to 25 million copies of “Barbie” is collected but rarely reviewed. Some cities are looking to new technology to examine this stockpile of footage to identify problematic officers and patterns of behavior.

Does your state have strict gun laws? Chances are it saw a drop in gun homicides.

A new analysis from the left-leaning Center for American Progress says there is a correlation between a state’s gun laws and its shooting homicides.

AI is helping police solve more crimes, but some are still worried

At a recent Senate hearing, concerns were raised about false arrests and how little is known about the accuracy of some AI products.

How Chicago became an unlikely leader in body-camera transparency

The city has a long history of brutal, violent policing, but its latest approach to body-worn cameras and police oversight could serve as a national model.

San Antonio plans to tackle violence with a public health approach. Here’s what that looks like.

Several cities use the "beyond-policing" approach that aims to reduce gun-related violence, sexual assaults and other crimes against people.

Are ski mask bans a crime-fighting solution? Some cities say yes.

Philadelphia is the latest city to prohibit ski masks in some public areas, but there is little research supporting the strategy.

You’re not tripping: State and local leaders give psychedelics another chance

More than 50 years after policymakers started cracking down on the hallucinogenic drugs, states and cities are now embracing them as a way to treat mental health disorders.

‘Smash-and-grab’ robberies fuel new laws, but critics question the need

A national group retracted its assertion that organized retail crime stole half of missing merchandise.

A road map for the lawful use of stop-and-frisk in Philadelphia–and elsewhere

With adequate training of officers and clear guidelines that increase transparency, police can use stop-and-frisk as a lawful mechanism to reduce crime and violence, while honoring residents’ constitutional rights.

Philadelphia reduced school-based arrests by 91% since 2013—researchers explain the effects of keeping kids out of the legal system

COMMENTARY | Launched in 2014, the city's diversion program looks to prevent youths from being referred to the criminal justice system. In the first five years, it decreased school-based arrests by 84%, and researchers say it saves taxpayers millions of dollars.

New technology helps state officers, clinicians provide mental health care

Oklahoma law enforcement officers say the iPads offer telehealth services to connect distressed individuals with mental health professionals, reducing the number of hospitalizations and calls to 911 or 988.

Politicians love to cite crime data. It’s often wrong.

Only 71% of U.S. law enforcement agencies submitted 2022 crime data to the FBI.

Cops want guns off the streets. But are buyback programs the way?

Some observers say buyback programs are ineffective at best and can sometimes detract from other violence prevention efforts. 

Using opioid settlement cash for police gear like squad cars and scanners sparks debate

As state and local governments figure out how to spend more than $50 billion from opioid settlement cash, officials must balance how to allocate funds for competing interests such as drug addiction treatment and enhanced police tech.

Police resistance and politics undercut the authority of prosecutors trying to reform the justice system

After major American cities began electing prosecutors who campaigned on the promise of systemic reform, law enforcement unions labeled these DAs as soft on crime while lawmakers made legal and legislative efforts to remove them from office.

Why fentanyl trafficking enforcement may fall short

Several states this year passed laws targeting drug traffickers through increased penalties. But one expert says efforts to curb the fentanyl supply could open the doors for newer, more dangerous substances to arise.