WNPR

Obama Task Force on Policing Includes Yale Law Professor

Jan 13, 2015

The task force will prepare initial recommendations to be presented to Obama in March.

Yale Law School professor Tracey Meares is a member of President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which meets for the first time publicly on Tuesday.

Following events in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, the president established the task force with the goals of strengthening community policing and trust among law enforcement officers and the communities they serve while reducing crime.

"As the nation has observed," the White House said in a statement, "trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve is essential to the stability of our communities, the integrity of our criminal justice system, and the safe and effective delivery of policing services."

Tracey Meares has taught at Yale Law School since 2007. She joins members of law enforcement, community leaders, and youth leaders who will prepare an initial report and recommendations to be presented to Obama in March.

Meares has intensively researched policing practices and ways of putting them into action. From a 2013 article in Yale Law Report, "Rolling Law Out to the Streets":

Before she came to Yale Law School from the University of Chicago in 2007, Meares was one of the leading forces (along with Andrew Papachristos, now a Yale Sociology Professor) behind “Project Safe Neighborhoods” in Chicago. As the intellectual architect of that groundbreaking violence reduction program, she used empirical research to create interventions aimed at reducing homicide and gun violence. Project Safe Neighborhoods saw homicide rates on Chicago’s west side drop from 60 to 30 per 100,000 people from 2002 to 2006. The program was so successful that it has become a model for other cities.

Earlier this year, Meares was enlisted by the Department of Justice for the launch of the National Initiative for Building Community Trust and Justice. As part of that initiative, Meares and Professor Tom Tyler launched the Collaborative for Justice Policy Innovation.

In a 2013 video lecture below, "Smart, Tough and Fair: Reducing Violent Crime in 60 Minutes or Less," Meares discussed a book project aimed at documenting and explaining efforts to address violent crime in several major cities across the country.