Reclaiming Reform: Policing, Public Safety & Public Trust


Police reform has been at the center of the public safety debate in Chicago for many years. A 2019 federal court order mandated extensive reform in the Chicago Police Department through a consent decree, which led policy makers, advocates, activists, and civilians alike to believe that institutional change was imminent. But a lack of immediate visible change and the perception that missed implementation deadlines have hastened progress has created frustration and further distrust.

In January 2023, The Joyce Foundation commissioned a report from 21st Century Policing Solutions (21CP) entitled Building Public Trust in Policing. This report outlines a five-point program for making rapid, visible progress toward strong, effective community partnerships; safer neighborhoods; and policing based on respect for civil and human rights. In so doing, the report examines the factors that have led to successful police reform efforts and consent decree implementation in other jurisdictions.

  • Chicago Tribune Op-Ed: Kathleen O'Toole and Charlie Beck: Chicago's consent decree can improve policing for everyone
  • Chicago Sun-Times: With Chicago's police leadership in flux, a new report on the nation's law enforcement 'crisis' offers a path forward
  • 21 CP News Release: March 22, 2023

Building on the recommendations from the 21CP report, on May 3, in partnership with Crain's Business Chicago, The Joyce Foundation hosted a public forum to discuss national best practices in police reform and assess how they could be applied to Chicago as the City works to implement it’s consent decree and selects a new leader of the Chicago Police Department. More than 350 representatives joined the half-day in person discussion at the Malcolm X College Conference Center, including Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, law enforcement representatives, community leaders, researchers, and philanthropy, among others, to discuss how we can achieve meaningful and lasting police reform in Chicago.

You can find the full program here. Read the Chicago Sun-Times story on the forum here: Former CPD Chief Charlie Beck offers suggestions for Chicago’s next top cop.

View the three recordings of the panels below.

1. Introduction and Fireside Chat with Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson

A conversation with Brandon Johnson, elected to serve as the 57th mayor of Chicago on April 4, 2023.

2. Panel One: Building Public Trust in Policing

Panelists: Laura Washington, Moderator; Hon. Charlie Beck, Fmr Chief, LAPD, & Fmr Interim Superintendent, Chicago Police Dept.; Ganesha Martin, 21 CP Solutions; Jonathan Smith, Fmr Chief, Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division, U.S. DOJ.

3. Panel Two: Building & Leading From Within: From Theory to Practice

Panelists: A.D. Quig, Moderator; Arif Alikhan, Fmr Dir. of Constitutional Policing, LA Police Dept.; Rebecca Boatright, ED for Legal Affairs, Seattle Police Dept.; Walter Katz, Former Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety, Office of Chicago Mayor.

Pictures from the Forum

About The Joyce Foundation

Joyce is a nonpartisan, private foundation that invests in evidence-informed public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region.

Related Content


Emerging Research into Concealed Carry Licensing

Researchers from The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions discussed two new research studies about the changing policy landscape regarding state concealed carry gun laws.

Grantee Spotlight

Collective Engagement for Community Peace: Understanding the Black & Brown Researchers Collective

We caught up recently with Dr. Buggs, one of the nation’s leading experts on community violence intervention and using anti-racist methods to reduce gun violence, about the status of the Collective and what’s to come.

Black & Brown Researchers Collective


Reimagining Public Safety: Community Listening Sessions with Black Communities and Defenders

A discussion on the report "Reimagining Public Safety: Community Listening Sessions with Black Communities and Defenders" which aims to help build sustainable public safety reforms formed on a responsiveness to community needs.


Using Public Funding for Community Violence Intervention Strategies: Successes and Challenges

Panelists discussed new report "Coordinating Safety: Building and Sustaining Offices of Violence Prevention and Neighborhood Safety" which examines the current landscape of Offices of Violence Prevention and identifies policy recommendations.

Grantee Spotlight

Gun Violence Prevention Advocates Reflect on “Aspirational” Work During 11th Annual Vigil

In December 2023, Joyce grantee Newtown Action Alliance held it's 11th annual vigil. Hundreds of survivors, many carrying pictures of fallen loved ones, packed St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.

Newtown Action Alliance


Working with CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS)

Panelists presented NVDRS, discussed how NVDRS data was used in their work, and showcased how other researchers can access NVDRS for their own work through the Restricted Access Database, or RAD.


Justice Reform Convening Inspires Infinite Hope

Joyce hosted a first-of-its-kind convening of policing and public safety grantees. GVPJR Program Officer Dr. Quintin Williams shared his thoughts about the gathering and why, despite so many challenges in creating safer communities, he still has hope.

In The Media

'The Gun Machine': A podcast about how America was forged by the gun industry

Produced by WBUR and The Trace, the podcast looks into the history of the relationship between the gun industry and the U.S. government. 'The Gun Machine' debuts on Oct. 4, 2023.

WBUR; The Trace