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.

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