California Partnership for Safe Communities has developed a set of tools and methods designed specifically to help diverse partners work quickly to save lives while laying the foundation needed to build trust and sustain those gains over time.

Using facts to inform action

Our work begins with an in-depth analysis of local violence dynamics. This research consistently reveals that violence tends to be socially and geographically concentrated, informing evidence-based interventions focused on specific people, rather than neighborhoods or general demographics.

This analysis helps efficiently direct scarce resources, identify key partners and counter simplistic and ineffective solutions, such as profiling. Our work includes in-depth reports known as “problem analyses” and practices such as “shooting reviews,” which are real-time analysis of violent incidents.


Putting values to work

Research makes clear that community-police partnerships to reduce violence must rest on a joint commitment to procedural justice and addressing implicit bias. Procedural justice means treating people with respect, giving them the chance to tell their side of the story, and making decisions fairly and based on facts. Implicit biases are thoughts or feelings about others that we’re unaware of, yet can influence our own or others’ actions.

We build partnership-wide fluency in these principles and guide their use as “design features” in the development of programs and strategies. Putting this commitment into action unifies diverse working partners, many of whom have longstanding differences or might otherwise revert to mutual distrust.


Focusing on results

We have developed an extensive set of tools and practices to manage complex working partnerships toward results. These include performance management indicators, shooting reviews, case conferences, coordination meetings, safety plans to reduce risk and training curricula for specialized functions. These tools enhance communication with those at highest risk of violence, outreach and support, strategic enforcement and coordination. They ensure that efforts have the right quality, scale and focus.


Developing solutions that work for everyone

We support partnerships to reduce crime in ways that acknowledge the impact of decades of policies that relied too heavily on arrest. It’s possible to make communities safer while improving support for those at risk of violence. Using enforcement as a last resort, trying to keep high-risk residents alive and free and working with them to improve long-term outcomes builds trust and is good for everyone – and it works.


Giving voice

We have extensive experience and training in group facilitation, using tools such as charting, interactive presentations and shared work plans to help diverse partners do their best thinking and work together. With our local partners, we design and facilitate strategic planning, performance review meetings, retreats and training. We also apply these processes to subgroups in our partnerships, including young men at risk of violence who don’t typically have a voice in management and governance.