Every day, cities deliver an array of public safety services to
protect the residents and businesses within their communities.
Recent events across the nation have sparked conversations around
reimagining those services, particularly in the area of local
policing. However, in many cities in California, local
leaders are also reimagining how to deliver public safety
services when a wildfire strikes.
In the wake of tragedies throughout the nation involving police
officers, communities are asking for police reform and better
de-escalation tools and training. The Chula Vista Police
Department, serving a population of 270,000 in San Diego County,
responded in part by developing an innovative drone program that
can respond to emergencies and provide officers with the
information needed to de-escalate situations.
Police reform has been a top legislative priority for progressive
lawmakers in California for years, and while there have been some
significant criminal justice measures signed into law in the past
decade, many more bills never made it to the governor’s desk.
This year was different.
In 2015, Burbank — a San Fernando Valley city of roughly 100,000
residents — launched Project HOPE (Helping Others Prosper
Everyday), a Parks and Recreation program with a simple mission:
“Promote the independence, health, and dignity of older adults
through compassion, kindness, commitment, and positivity.”
In a decade, how might city leaders recall this period of
policing in California? Will it be remembered as a period of
great reform or one of great posturing? The evidence appears to
support the former, as criminal justice reform in the domains of
drug decriminalization and property crime have significantly
affected the role and expectations of California law enforcement