Every neighborhood is unique--each area with its own history, character, community attitudes and perspectives about law enforcement. Tactics one district may find acceptable, another neighborhood may find overbearing or in some cases, insensitive to unaddressed community tensions. In fact, underserved groups have historically made claims of discrimination, bias and unjust shootings. The impacts of these cases have often transcended the originating community, with some reaching national attention. Still, few substantive, long-term administration policies have reached the legislative level, leaving the current community policing strategy nationally unmeasured and up to individual department interpretation. Read A Measured Model.
Black students in the Pflugerville school district are 3.5 times more likely to be charged with assault than other students, according to a recent study. Measure, an Austin-based research and public education nonprofit that uses data to address social disparities, found during the 2016-17 school year that 54 percent of assault charges at school campuses were related to black students.
After learning of a seemingly disproportionate number of African-American youth being charged with assault in the Pflugerville School District (PFISD), MEASURE formed a partnership with PFISD, Black Pflugerville, and PFISD Police Department. Through our united efforts we discovered that Black children were charged with assault in 54% of the cases in the 2016-2017 school year, while only accounting for 16.8% of the student population. MEASURE brought these numbers to the attention of the district and Pflugerville community members. Full Report.
MEASURE galvanized support to reject a potentially harmful proposal by members of Pflugerville City Council. The resolution called on council to approve “encouraging the courts to sentence criminals convicted of drugs or violent acts to the maximum punishment allowable by law”. After a nearly hour-long round of comments from the public and council members, Resolution 0508 was “tabled indefinitely”. See the full analysis.
Media: Community Impact Austin
Community organizations across Austin united to dispute the renewal of the contract agreement between The City of Austin and the Austin Police Association. With the allocation of funds at the center of the dispute and the contact suspended until spring, MEASURE began it's Dollars and Sense project to take a closer look at the practicality of the proposed budget. MEASURE researches conducted a comparative study between Austin and cities with similar population demographics. Download the report here.
Measure believes that conducting research about policing is a critical and timely first step in building the necessary unilateral support for an effective community policing system and for responsible city budgeting. As a result of this analysis, MEASURE© seeks to add and incorporate 9 crucial measures to tell a more accurate and useful story of the department’s performance. Download Item 47 here.