With police reform making its way through different U.S. cities, one thing is on the way to see bigger change: rising crime rates.


After police brutality incidents and protests in 2020 and 2021, police reform is taking small steps throughout the country.

Cronkite News reported on the city of Albuquerque’s actions in police reformation. The city has created a third branch in their safety response system called Albuquerque Community SafetyThis team’s job is to provide the community with mental healthcare, housing and transportation.

With programs like Albuquerque’s being made, other cities are speaking out to create their own. 

In Minnesota, Katie Wright, the mother of Daunte Wright, is pushing for the ban of traffic stops. A program that is currently in the planning phase in Berkley, Calif. and Brooklyn Center, Minn.  would have trained and unarmed citizens conduct the traffic stops instead of cops. Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Lansing, Mich. and the state of Virginia have ended traffic stops as well.

While some cities want citizens to take on duties, others are leaning on innovation. Trusted Driver is developing a program for Texas and Nebraska police departments to use text messages for minor traffic violations like a busted headlight or expired tags. Consent and cooperation from residents is still needed for the program to be implemented. Drivers would have to register through the DMV and provide medical conditions to make the process safe for drivers and police officers.

Another push for change comes in the form of transparency. Currently, the federal government does not track police departments’ use of force.

Citizens want access to reports of when fatalities occur, when there is serious bodily injury, if a firearm was used and the name of the officer at the scene. The pushback against open records is that it could put an officer’s life at risk.

In Sept. 2019, in Salt Lake City Utah, Bobby Duckworth, a mentally ill man, was killed by police. Since then, Utah residents have been pushing for a bill that would have social workers join the police on mental health crisis calls. The goal of this bill is to reduce law enforcement’s role during these crisis calls and train them to handle such situations if need be. In 2020, Data for Progress recorded that 58% respondents supported the non-police first-responder bill.

For similar bills to make an impact on communities, it will take time, money and community effort to make it work, and could vary for each city.

Communities are also taking a hands-on approach by creating community review boards. In the same article, Cronkite News reported that over 25 U.S. cities have created review boards in 2020-2021.

Board members are appointed by the mayor or government senior officials. The board will review complaints that come into their respective police departments and also suggest disciplinary actions. The board could also launch their own investigation if need be. Anaheim, Calif., San Diego, Austin, Texas, Denver and Boston are a few of the cities that have a community review board. 

Police departments also realize a need for change. Departments have implemented the early intervention system (EIS). This system hopes to help police officers with any mental and emotional stress they may be going through by notifying supervisors if an officer is in need of help. The program will also help promote the right officers to higher positions.

Additionally, the system will also be a safe place for officers to speak up about colleagues doing unethical or illegal actions. Accountable, better leadership is the main goal for EIS.

Although different methods of reformation are happening throughout the U.S., rising crime rates are the only thing that could halt progress. USA Today reported that there is a 13% increase in robberies and 2.6% increase in aggravated assault. In urban areas, violent crimes increased by 4%.

With violence on the rise, communities have been hesitant for police reform. For example, in San Francisco, voters recalled Chesa Boudin because his progressive ideology was not doing enough for the city.

It’s hard to tell how these small reformation movements in the U.S. will combat the current crime rate. It still remains the efforts of individual cities’ to create change, and voters will ultimately decide if police reformation will remain a big issue to tackle.