Public Safety

Judges Can’t Decide Whether Freedom Extends to Your Car

Officers have wide discretion when they pull over motorists. And the courts keep giving them more.

Despite Federal Protections, Rape Victims Still Get Billed For Forensic Exams

For 25 years, the federal Violence Against Women Act has required any state that wants to be eligible for certain federal grants to certify that the state covers the cost of medical forensic exams for people who have been sexually assaulted.

Virginia Lawmakers Adjourn Special Legislative Session Without Debate on Guns

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Two dozen governors ask Trump to stick to Obama-era fuel efficiency standards … Oregon legislator must give 12 hours notice before he enters state capitol … Alaska state senate ousts majority leader.

These Police Can't Use Radar and Changing That Could Be an Uphill Battle

Pennsylvania is the only state in the country where local police departments can't use speed-detecting radar. Multiple bills aim to give them access.

Want Ammo? Be Prepared For A Background Check

California is the first state in the nation to require anyone buying ammunition to go through a background check at the time of each purchase.

DNA Evidence Will be Stored for 50 Years Under New State Law

The policy aims to give victims of sexual assault and prosecutors ample time to track down and convict offenders.

Pennsylvania Becomes First State to Use Automated System to Expunge Criminal Records

After passing the country’s first ‘clean slate’ bill, Pennsylvania is debuting a system that will automatically clear the records of all who are eligible.

Can Parks Help Cities Fight Crime?

The short answer: It depends on the park.

A City Says ‘No’ to More Police Officers

The city council in Durham, North Carolina recently rebuffed a police department push to add more cops on the beat, with a narrow majority deciding instead to spend the money on employee raises.

New Jersey Implements Ride-Share Safety Law

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Republican walkout in the Oregon legislature … Illinois law enforcement concerned about marijuana DUIs… Austin appropriates for new homeless shelter.

Mass Surveillance Is Coming to a City Near You

COMMENTARY | A tech entrepreneur wants to track the residents of a high-crime American community.

Local Law Enforcement Must Decide if They Want to Continue Working With ICE

The 287(g) program has significantly expanded since 2017, stoking controversy about cost and transparency. Now, sheriffs have to decide if they want to renew their agreements with ICE.

Parole and Probation Violations Are Filling State Prisons

A new report from the Council of State Governments shows that many minor violations of parole or probation come with a high price tag, as they often lead to people ending up back in prison.

Supreme Court Upholds Right of States and Federal Government to Prosecute for Same Crime

The 7-2 ruling affirms an exception to “double jeopardy” protections, finding that states and the federal government are “separate sovereigns” with the ability to prosecute an individual for the same offense.

Boxing As a Solution to Help End Gun Violence

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young suggested that letting young people settle their differences in a boxing ring might stop people from shooting each other. But would an intervention like that really make a dent in the murder rate?

Using Data to Predict Coastal Flood Risk

A new online tool compiles NOAA water-level data and storm forecasts to help coastal residents prepare for floods.

Broad Racial and Ethnic Coalitions Prompt Policing Changes

Native Americans and Latinos also die in police shootings at a disproportionately high rate.

How the 'Good Guy with a Gun' Saying Came to Be

COMMENTARY | The saying has become a deadly American fantasy.

One State Becomes the First To Collect Prosecutor Data

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Vetoes of anti-abortion legislation … Rhode Island senate votes to ban ‘ghost guns’ … New Jersey regulators reject pipeline application.

A New Report Card for California’s Police Fails Most Departments

The scorecard reviewed data from California’s hundred largest cities to find statewide trends on where police departments are struggling.