Spotlighting Reforms and Progress
Reimagining Policing Workshop Series
This town hall—in conjunction with the release of our new report— highlights the progress made in communities across the country and the work that remains to build communities that are more safe and just for everyone.
Mayor Buddy Dyer
Orlando Community & Youth Trust
Mayor Svante Myrick
Ithaca, New York
County Administrator of Tompkins, New York
Mayor Lucy Vinis
Ebony Morgan, RN
Coordinator of CAHOOTS, Whitebird Clinic
“To other cities, as you’re looking at [a model like CAHOOTS], take your time to build those relationships and build those partnerships—make sure that your police department is really on board with this. They have to buy into this for this to work, to see this as an advantage, and to build that relationship. The providers have to be prepared to build that relationship. And look at your whole community safety net, look at the whole network of services that you have.”—Mayor Lucy Vinis
“Figure out what the needs are in your community and build something that looks something like [CAHOOTS], that connects people with the appropriate resource, as needed. Make it work—don’t accept that you can’t. … It’s not a particularly divisive model. We are both appreciated by the police departments and appreciate them as we need them in our experiences. It’s mutually beneficial truly, and CAHOOTS was never designed to replace policing. It’s designed to provide the community with something that they need.” —Ebony Morgan, RN
“Remember that collaboration is different than everyone can have a seat at the table. The community’s voice has to be the deciding voice. For too long we’ve asked the community, particularly the Black community to step forward and we’ll say, ‘Tell us your experience. Tell us what you’d like to see changed. Give us all of your ideas.’ They’ll share in a very vulnerable way … and then it just doesn’t happen. Be clear with everybody right up front who has to be centered in the reforms that you’re seeking.” —Mayor Svante Myrick
“[We’ve learned from] engaging a lot of our community members—sometimes hard to reach community members—which we had to make a concerted effort to do, to communicate and talk in safe spaces. And what we found out, not only was there not trust in law enforcement, but law enforcement also felt there was not trust within the community. So it was really an identification that trust needs to improve and that what we have now is not working, and we need to look at something else.” —Jason Molino
“There’s no simple solution. The work toward equity and policing takes community input. Listen to the community, knowing that you can’t snap your fingers overnight and then you’re going to have the perfect situation. You have to have sustained work at this. Even if you think you’ve got the best police force in the entire country, you have to stay engaged to keep the community engaged with that, and make sure that there’s trust going back both ways between the community and police force.” —Mayor Buddy Dyer
“We grew up always trying to find a way out of the neighborhood. Now, when I put on my shoes and I go to work every day, I’m trying to find my way in. I’m trying to teach my kids about finding a way back into the neighborhood, trying to make our neighborhood a better place where, when people go away and graduate from college, they want to come back home to their own neighborhood and invest in the neighborhood like Mayor Dyer and Parramore Kidz Zone have done for us.” —DeMarcus Womack
These links are being provided as a convenience and for educational and informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the Obama Foundation, and the Obama Foundation bears no responsibility for the accuracy or legality of the content of the external site or subsequent links from an external site.
Mayors: Commit to taking action to address police use of force policies in your city.
Mayors and other City Council officials are uniquely positioned to introduce common-sense limits on police use of force.Take The Pledge