Law enforcement must act in service to communities by promoting public safety with reverence for life and dignity, and by upholding constitutional and human rights of all persons regardless of race, ethnicity, identity, or economic status.
American policing is at a crossroads, with many challenges standing in the way of effective policing. A lack of transparency and accountability, along with a failure to confront both historic and current racism in policing, has resulted in a law enforcement system that is often unreceptive to change and too frequently falls short of its fundamental task of protecting and serving all communities fairly and effectively. We have asked police to solve complex issues such as homelessness, community violence, and substance use, without giving officers the tools or resources to do so, or properly resourcing what makes communities safe: investments in education, health, and housing. In addition, police too often rely on punitive enforcement and unnecessary force, particularly against Black, Brown, and Indigenous people, which has undermined trust in law enforcement and harmed the communities they serve.
Given these problems, and in support of our vision for policing, Arnold Ventures aims to catalyze change by focusing on two distinct areas of opportunity: Police Accountability and Community Safety. In our Police Accountability work, we support researchers and advocates to change state and local laws so law enforcement is more accountable to their communities. In our Community Safety work, we’re focused on rethinking the role of police and considering new approaches in Violence Reduction and Crisis Response.