This month, Madison Police Department Chief Shon Barnes addressed his thoughts about police reform and accountability in a CNN interview. The interview took place following the guilty verdict of former police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd. In a response to the case and verdict, Chief Barnes stated, “We need a national standard for the way we conduct business…Our community expects that from us. We need to look at police reform from the standpoint of imagining or reimagining what it means to have public safety.”
The debate revolving around police reform stems to the national stage as well. However, if any real changes are going to occur, they must occur on a local level. This is because state and local governments control a majority of law enforcement agencies. Local elections will determine if public safety is salvaged in our country.