Washington, D.C. - Today, the National League of Cities (NLC), with the generous support of the Wells Fargo Foundation, announced the launch of the Municipalities Reimagining Community Safety Initiative in response to upticks in violence in some cities and the need for coordinated local response. NLC applauds this investment in local action to reduce and prevent violence while advancing new visions for safety in communities.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is proud to have been selected to participate in this two-year initiative alongside cities like Baltimore, Dallas, Jackson, Mississippi, and St. Louis. Each city will receive $1 million in investments including pass through grant funding, evaluation, coaching from local and national partners and the opportunity to learn from one another as they create, update and implement aspects of their local safety plan.

“The City of Philadelphia, and our Office of Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Criminal Justice and Public Safety, is spending 2022 and beyond reconnecting and enhancing relationships with our community members after the isolation of the early COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “This funding from the National League of Cities will greatly bolster our ability to continue to engage with our communities and center them in Philadelphia’s vision of community safety. We look forward to this partnership with the National League of Cities and the other selected municipalities across the nation.”

“NLC is excited to announce a new two-year initiative, the Municipalities Reimagining Community Safety Initiative that will help 5 cities address violence through comprehensive and collaborative approaches,” said Clarence Anthony, CEO & Executive Director of NLC. “The cities of Baltimore, MD, Dallas, TX, Jackson, MS, Philadelphia, PA and St. Louis, MO will receive significant funding and support through this program to organize, focus and expand the safety and violence reduction strategies of municipal agencies and their community partners. This program is made possible thanks to a $6 million grant from Wells Fargo. We look forward to highlighting the progress in these cities, and lessons learned for other cities, at upcoming conferences beginning with City Summit 2022.”

This initiative brings together elected leaders and staff, residents, and local organizations to pursue coordinated, equitable, community-centered, safety efforts. This work is intended to spur local action and implementation of recommendations and plans that are established in partnership with Black and Brown communities and paired with measurement and evaluation components.

“Working together as a community, including with local residents, is how we can arrive at the strongest solutions for community safety,” said Molly Porter, interim Head of Social Impact at Wells Fargo. “National League of Cities is skilled at bringing stakeholders to the table in a way that sparks action and equity-focused strategies in building safer communities.”

Building upon NLC’s recent Reimagining Public Safety Task Force report, A Path Toward Safe and Equitable Cities, this initiative advances the work in cities to expand the use of civilian-led and community based well-being and prevention-focused strategies with an emphasis on engaging those most impacted and centering racial equity.

As cities large and small across the country grapple with the ability to provide safe environments for ALL residents in the face of rising violence despite generally low crime rates, the importance of comprehensive plans, innovation and data driven solutions are paramount. This initiative will ensure that we are taking the steps toward more equitable community safety.