Through the passing and enforcement of laws, governments wield a powerful tool for keeping their communities safe. In this section, we highlight the myriad ways local governments engage with the legal system to move their communities forward and protect their citizens. Though by no means a perfect system – enforcement inequities continue to make the headlines – local leaders are striving to create laws that work fairly for all.

“If the ultimate sacrifice is made, I want [officers] to know we’re there, standing with you, standing with your families,” Gov. Ned Lamont said
The move would change marijuana from its current classification as a Schedule I drug, alongside heroin and LSD, to a Schedule III drug, alongside ketamine and some anabolic steroids
Teachers who want to carry must be approved by the school principal, school district and a local law enforcement agency, and must undergo a background check and training
The law increases penalties for anyone who assaults or kills a law enforcement animal, including a hefty fine on top of paying for medical costs
Auditors also found that the board reimbursed fire departments for training courses without getting documentation on who provided the trainings and their qualifications
The city agreed to pay the officer $145,000 and to rewrite its civil service medical examiner’s policies
Improving staffing at Georgia’s prisons is one of the biggest challenges facing the system; A senator said it was important to study the staffing issue and come up with solutions to attract qualified COs
San Francisco Police Department leaders and city officials expect to launch the task force in the spring of 2024 to investigate opioid deaths and illicit drug operations as potential homicide cases
The court’s opinion cited developmental differences between adults and children and their differing capacities for rehabilitation
The letter asks that the DOJ “devote any resources necessary to protect the rights of individuals in confinement” into the Fulton Jail and correctional institutions nationwide
The bill would prevent officers from pulling over motorists for reasons such as driving with an expired registration sticker, various equipment failures and driving without a seat belt
Cellphone carriers are now required to send first responders based on the location of the caller, rather than the nearest cell tower
The new law requires solitary confinement to “only be used as a last resort, in the least restrictive manner and for the shortest period of time safely possible”
The Chula Vista PD was taken to court after it withheld all drone footage under a California Public Record Act exemption that allows investigative material to remain confidential
Police Chief Brian Chaney stated the department “has decided to temporarily focus our priorities on suspects who we believe to be involved in dangerous and violent felony offenses”