RTD Op-Ed by Adrienne Cole Johnson, Lillie A. Estes, Howard Manly, and Kristin Reed

Public safety and community justice are not mutually exclusive, societal objectives. In theory the goals of both are broadly rooted in the U.S. Constitution and daily demonstrated — for better and for worse — on American streets.

In reality, it is necessary that we deepen our perspective on public safety as a community justice concern, in order to ensure just and equitable communities throughout our beloved city. There cannot be public safety without community justice, because without community justice, only some are safe.

We suggest that at the root of public safety is the basic human desire to live in consciously caring neighborhoods, where children are able to play outside without worry, where elders are comfortable with moving about, and where there is a sense of community, respect, and neighborliness. When we understand how these ideals are necessary to one another, we are better able to assert our needs — to one another as citizens as well as through policy and law.