The Future of Alternative First Response: Building Sustainable and Scalable Programs

Co-hosted by the Policing Project at New York University School of Law and the Center for Innovations in Community Safety at Georgetown Law, this national convening brought together Alternative First Response practitioners, community members, researchers, experts, and other stakeholders to learn, share information, problem-solve, and innovate.


On June 1-2, 2023, the Policing Project and the Georgetown Law Center for Innovations in Community Safety co-hosted a convening on alternative response in Washington, DC. This event brought together a diverse set of stakeholders from across the country who are engaged in this work for an opportunity to meet, learn, share ideas, and discuss the future of this growing field.

Public safety experts and practitioners from nearly 30 jurisdictions convened to discuss the growing movement to build non-police alternatives in emergency first response. Attendees included alternative responders, city officials, public health experts, police reform advocates, mental health advocates, members of law enforcement, public safety researchers, representatives from DOJ, and others.

The event was hosted in partnership with public safety departments and alternative response programs in Albuquerque, NM; Atlanta, GA; Dayton, OH; Denver, CO; San Francisco, CA; and Tucson, AZ. It featured speakers from many of these communities and others, as well as researchers, impacted community members, and practitioners.

For more information about the event, including featured speakers, see the event website.

View a recording of each plenary session below:

Opening Remarks - Christy Lopez, Tahir Duckett, and Barry Friedman
What is Possible: Mental Health, Mediation, and Everything Else - Barry Friedman, Alia Henton-Williams, Ivy Lee, Raven Cruz Loaiza, and Christy Lopez
Getting Started: Scope, Theory of Change, Setting up for Success - Max Markham, Kristin Bronson, Moki Macias, Rebecca Neusteter
Resources to Support the Field - Karhlton Moore, Director, Bureau of Justice Assistance
Presentation: National Polling Data on Approaches to Public Safety - Celinda Lake, Quintin Williams
Assessing Risk: Dispatch, Call Taking, and Decision-Making - Dr. Jessica Gillooly, Andrew Dameron, Chyna Quarker, Mariela Ruiz-Angel, Greg Stoddard
Opening Remarks Day 2 - Darius Baxter, Chief Engagement Officer, GOOD Projects
Building Relationships Based on Mutual Trust - Dr. Tamara Leech, Maria (Maru) Eugenia Carrasco, Jordan Dean, Ariel Heifetz Knobel, Chief (Ret.) Nicholas Sensley
Evaluation and Impact - Tahir Duckett and Barry Friedman talk with Dr. Nancy La Vigne, Director of the National Institute of Justice
The Future of Alternative Response - Mike Thompson, Eric Cumberbatch, Cal Jenkins, Anne Larsen, Amy Watson
Closing Remarks - Christy Lopez, Freya Rigterink