Public Safety

Stay-At-Home Scofflaws Face Fines, Arrest for Social Distancing Failures

Local authorities are beginning to crack down on those who blatantly violate orders banning large public gatherings, while trying to make it harder for people to break the rules in public spaces like parks.

Nearly 200 Cities Short on Supplies for Dealing With Coronavirus, Mayors Report

The U.S. Conference of Mayors says new survey findings show shortages of essential items have reached “crisis proportions.”

Trail Use Way Up as Coronavirus Stifles Other Activities

“People are craving outlets for their physical and mental well being,” said an expert. But this has created concerns that people are too crammed together in these open spaces.

‘Prisons Are Bacteria Factories’; Elderly Most at Risk

“You’re going to see devastation that’s unbelievable.”

Cities Rush to Respond as Homelessness and Coronavirus Collide

Homeless people are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19. Cities are working to implement protective measures, often with no idea how they'll pay for it.

Washington Schools Work on Meal and Child Care Plans For Extended Closure

The state is shuttering all of its K-12 schools for about six weeks beginning on Tuesday as part of efforts to combat the new coronavirus.

Cash Bail Is Creating a Crisis in Rural Jails

A federal lawsuit alleges lack of due process in a rural Tennessee county, and reform advocates say its jail is hardly an outlier.

Bloomberg Launches Initiative to Help Cities With Coronavirus Response

It’s intended to provide mayors with technical guidance, coaching and other assistance.

California Didn’t Become More Dangerous After It Passed a Sanctuary Law, Study Says

Law enforcement warned that California’s sanctuary policy would endanger public safety. New research found that hasn’t been the case.

For Many Serving Harsh Sentences, The Governor Becomes a Last Hope

Lawmakers are recognizing the harms of mass incarceration. But some governors are reluctant to use their clemency power to address them.

Worker Safety Net Measures Get Attention As Coronavirus Outbreak Grinds On

New York’s governor on Monday promised a paid sick leave proposal for people subject to quarantines.

Gunfire Detection Technology Spreads, Raises Privacy Concerns

Police advocates of the audio monitoring surveillance system say it helps them know just how many shootings are happening in their cities. But civil rights advocates say policy makers should think about possible privacy implications.

Costs to Combat Coronavirus Mount in an Epicenter of the Outbreak

In King County, Washington alone, the local government is spending about $100,000 a day responding to the public health crisis, according to one lawmaker.

Coronavirus Quarantines Pose Tough Issues for State and Local Officials

Thousands of people across the country are being asked to self quarantine after being in close contact with people diagnosed with Covid-19.

Cracking Down on 'Disruptions' of Government Meetings

The Utah state Senate unanimously passed a bill that the sponsor said is meant to "create civility." It would increase penalties for protests or other disruptions of public meetings.

Trump Says Federal Funding for ‘Sanctuary’ Cities Will Be Withheld

The president’s statement comes after a federal appellate court ruled that the administration could withhold law enforcement grants from jurisdictions that don’t cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Want Your Record Cleared After Exoneration? You’ll Have to Pay for It.

In Illinois, a bill would end the fees associated with clearing a criminal record after someone has been exonerated for a wrongful conviction or not charged after an arrest.

New York Legislators Pass Rear Seat Belt Bill

Lawmakers said the legislation is necessary due to the advent of ride-sharing and more people riding in back.

After Deadly Crash, Lawsuit Spotlights Problem of Parking Near Intersections

When cars are parked close to intersections, they can block drivers from seeing other traffic and pedestrians. A lawsuit seeks a court order to force Portland, Oregon to address the issue.