Public Safety

People With Mental Illnesses Aren’t More Violent. Why Do People Believe They Are?

A new study found that over the past two decades support grew for forced treatment of people with mental health issues, even if they don’t need it.

A Plan to Recruit Volunteer Firefighters by Relieving Their Student Debt

A bill in Pennsylvania would grant qualifying first responders up to $16,000 in tuition reimbursement after four consecutive years of service.

Fort Worth Officer Who Shot Woman in Her Home Arrested on Murder Charge

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Massachusetts may expand parole options for people with murder convictions … Chicago mayor proposes consolidating departments to close budget gap … Christmas parade reinstated in West Virginia after backlash.

Taking The Cops Out Of Mental Health-Related 911 Rescues

Denver is considering adopting a new 911 alternative that allows mental health and medical professionals, not police officers, to respond to some emergency calls, saving money and de-escalating situations with mentally ill people.

Restore Pell Grant Eligibility to Incarcerated Students

COMMENTARY | The National District Attorneys Association, the largest group representing prosecutors, supports federal grant funding for prisoners to get college degrees.

Trying to End the Dangerous Practice of Late-Night Jail Releases

If signed by the governor, a measure passed by the California legislature would require jails to set new release times and provide people with free phone calls to arrange transportation.

A Plan to Reduce Bench Warrants—By Text Message

After success in one county, Minnesota is rolling out a statewide program that sends reminders to defendants about their court appearances.

Federal Judge to Hear Arguments in Florida Voting Case for Formerly Incarcerated People

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Shooting in Kansas City leaves four dead, five wounded … Mobile spends thousands on lawsuit between mayor and city council … Washington state amendment would grant legislature greater powers during catastrophes.

Preventing Student Violence Through Education

A proposal in Ohio would require public middle and high schools to teach an annual class about suicide and violence prevention.

Want a Good Police K9? Try the Animal Shelter.

Rescue dogs, including pit bulls, are finding work as police K9s across the country.

Supervised Injection Site Does Not Violate Federal Drug Law, Judge Rules

The decision could have ramifications throughout the country, as policymakers weigh whether to open facilities where people can take opioids and other illegal drugs.

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Local Law Enforcement Should Be Able to Protect Airports From Drones, Report Says

To address security risks, a task force recommends that Congress authorize local law enforcement to take down drones flown too close to airports.

A Private Prison Ban Could Be Coming in California

California has relied on private prisons to relieve overcrowding in state-run facilities—but now the state may eliminate them entirely.

Cities Defend State Law that Prohibits People from Carrying Guns While Drunk

Six cities in Ohio filed a legal brief supporting a state law that makes it illegal for anyone to use a gun when intoxicated in response to claims that the policy is unconstitutional.

States Take on the Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Native women in some communities are killed at a rate ten times the national average. In Wisconsin, tribal advocates and lawmakers are determined to figure out what can be done about it.

Arrests of 6-Year-Olds Show the Perils of Putting Police in Elementary Schools

COMMENTARY | About one-third of America's elementary schools have a school police officer on hand. Do these officers make schools safer, or are they turning primary schools into mini police precincts?

Two Governors Pledge to Collaborate On Legal Marijuana Regulations

Neither New York or Connecticut allow for recreational pot yet. But governors of the two states are interested in setting consistent guidelines for it.

D.C. City Council Considers End to ‘Gay Panic’ Legal Defense

Two bills would prohibit a legal defense for murders or attacks that relies on what many consider to be a discriminatory view of the LGBTQ community.

A Plan to Spruce Up Vacant Lots to Reduce Gun Violence

A program in Chicago that beautifies abandoned properties is aimed at providing work and reducing crime. But some local residents say more needs to be done to involve people in the neighborhood.

State Attorneys General Combat At-Home Rape Testing Kits

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Connecticut governor plans to end religious vaccine exemptions … Undercover cop in St. Louis sues city … New Mexico moves to make college free for residents.