MAYORS’ VISION FOR AMERICA: A 2020 CALL TO ACTION

Join with Mayors and Police Chiefs to Support Public Safety for All

While there has been progress in making America’s cities safe, much remains to be done. Although homicides and other violent crimes continue to decrease, some cities still grapple with high crime levels, and some have seen an uptick. Firearms account for nearly 40,000 deaths a year; mass shootings have become almost a common occurrence; and guns are readily available on our streets. Although progress has been made, there is much more to do to build trust between police officers and the communities they serve.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently reported that the nation, “faces an increasingly complex, and evolving, threat of terrorism and targeted violence,” and that while “foreign terrorist organizations remain intent on striking the Homeland…the nation also faces a growing threat from domestic actors inspired by violent extremist ideologies, as well as from those whose attacks are not ideologically driven.”

While improvements have been made in the criminal justice system, and these are a good first step, much remains to be done to make the system equitable and fair. To support our constant efforts to make our cities safe, mayors call on the President and Congress to:

First Responders

  • Maintain and increase funding for key first responder programs, including COPS hiring grants and other COPS Office programs, Byrne JAG grants, and SAFER and Firefighter Assistance Grant programs.

Community Policing

  • Increase financial assistance to local police departments that can be used for promoting neighborhood-based policing; providing officers needed training, body cameras and other equipment; and improving department practices.
  • Aid local efforts to build and maintain trust between the police and the community. This could include providing sensitivity, cultural, and ethnicity training, as well as training in how to defuse incidents.

Gun Violence

  • Make background checks universal and strengthen the background check system.
  • Strengthen the regulation of gun sales and dealers.
  • Reinstate a strengthened, effective ban on military-style assault weapons, their component parts, large-capacity magazines, and bump stocks and related devices.
  • Support local efforts to reduce and combat gun crimes.
  • Encourage cities to purchase guns from responsible gun manufacturers and dealer by using city procurement processes to influence and increase responsible behavior of gun manufacturers and dealers who sell guns to cities.
  • Endorse the use and adoption of Extreme Risk Protection Orders and urge Congress and state legislatures to introduce and adopt Extreme Risk Protection Order (Red Flag) laws to bring this potentially life-saving tool to as many communities as possible.
  • Treat violence as a public health problem.

Domestic and International Terrorism

  • Maintain and strengthen homeland security grant programs, with funding increased and provided directly to local governments so that local officials are equipped to prevent and respond to terrorist acts and reduce violent extremism.
  • Increase support for police officers through both Homeland Security and Justice Department programs, including COPS hiring grants.
  • Share intelligence with local authorities in a continuous, timely, and reciprocal manner.

Criminal Justice Reform and Reentry

  • Continue efforts to make the criminal justice system fairer and more equitable, especially in the area of sentencing.
  • Establish a national criminal justice commission to examine and make recommendations regarding all aspects of the criminal justice system.
  • Increase support for reentry programs, including the provision of substance abuse and mental health services and of housing, education, and employment assistance to better serve the various needs of those leaving prison, and revise employment, health care, and other policies that impede the ability of people released from prison to reintegrate successfully into their communities.

MAYORS’ VISION FOR AMERICA: A 2020 Call to Action

Focused on: Infrastructure, Innovation, & Inclusion