Public Safety

New White House office will work with communities to curb gun violence

The office will look to build off of last year’s landmark gun legislation and has been applauded by national local government associations who have called gun violence an “incredibly serious issue in America.”

Researchers quantify communities' risk of a mass shooting

The new statistical analysis model would allow state and local agencies to understand the risk of a mass shooting and what they can do to prepare ahead of time.

Most states have yet to permanently fund 988. Call centers want certainty.

Only eight states have enacted legislation to fund the 988 hotline through phone fees, and others are relying on short-term funding. Mental health experts and call center operators say more money is needed to ensure residents receive the care they need.

Robot police dogs are on patrol, but who’s holding the leash?

Numerous cities have acquired dog-like robots for policing. Researchers say the lack of transparency is worrying.

How data models may shape the future of wildfire response

Data models that integrate wildfire spread and vehicle and pedestrian evacuation routes can help responder agencies get residents to safety before an incoming wildfire becomes too much to manage.

How 911 innovations improve dispatchers’ lives and keep communities safe

COMMENTARY | Using technology to divert administrative and non-emergency calls from 911 centers keeps crews focused on their high impact jobs and makes it easier for communities to hire and retain qualified dispatchers.

Round-the-clock speed cameras improve safety in a city that never sleeps

New York City saw a 25% drop in traffic deaths and a 30% decrease in tickets issued after state lawmakers let it operate their speed cameras on nights and weekends.

Cities are embracing teen curfews, though they might not curb crime

Experts worry that curfews disproportionately target young people of color.

Life in a rural ‘ambulance desert’ means sometimes help isn’t on the way

Rural health care services like ambulances and hospitals are often spread few and far between, research shows. A shortage of services puts residents' health at risk and even affects local economies, experts say.

AVs are coming, whether local officials like it or not

California regulators recently lifted restrictions on driverless cars in San Francisco, despite objections from local leaders. As autonomous vehicles come to more cities, these fights may be more common.

‘IGNITE’ing an educational fire in U.S. jails

An initiative launched in a Michigan county jail has been embraced as a national model for reducing jail violence and inmate recidivism.

Policing police drones: How regulations can protect privacy while expanding public safety

Without accountability measures in place, drones meant to act as first responders could push the boundaries of monitoring and surveillance.

Security planning begins as the U.S. prepares to play host to World Cup, Summer Olympics

Governments at all levels, as well as law enforcement, need close coordination and an eye on emerging threats to keep spectators and athletes safe.

Housing-first interventions, not policing, key to ending homelessness

New data shows that government assistance during the pandemic dramatically reduced homelessness. So why are cities and states increasingly turning to criminalization to address the issue?

For states, the rollout of 988 still faces some challenges

One year in, states are struggling to staff up the suicide prevention lifeline and get the word out about its existence.

Passions run high over speed limits, but data is hard to come by

A recent study by the AAA Foundation tried to determine whether drivers changed their habits with new speed limits. Instead, the group discovered the limits of the data states collect on the safety of their roads.

Cities boost wages, embrace ‘culture change’ to beat lifeguard shortage

This summer, some major cities are fully staffing their pools for the first time in years.

As temperatures spike, states act to protect residents and workers

Governments geared up protective measures against the dangerously hot weather baking nearly every part of the country this past week. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

Cities paint the way to safer streets

COMMENTARY | It’s time for our country to embrace asphalt art as a creative, low-cost way to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

Flood management gets a boost from drones

As major flooding events are expected to become more common, drones could help communities keep resilience up and damage down.