Civil Disagreement Series: Public Safety & Policing in America


Thursday, April 21, 2022, 4:00pm to 5:30pm

ICDP event

For some Americans, sustained and additional investments in police and prisons are seen as critical and necessary to ensure safety and justice for all citizens. On this view, enhanced support for law enforcement is key. Other Americans, however, call for reducing the scope of police function, focusing instead on alternative frameworks for reform or abolishing police departments altogether, advocating for greater financial and social investment in community resources and economic development as means for promoting public safety and supporting populations in greatest need. 

This event will bring together a range of speakers who hold vastly differing views on public safety and policing, informed by their varied experiences.  Engaging in collaborative civil discourse, questions explored may include: What does it mean to be safe in a community? What resources are most needed to ensure a safe, thriving community? What role should police play in creating a flourishing community? The panel will be framed in a way that is meant to invite conversation across different perspectives, while acknowledging the stakes of the topic.


  • Romarilyn Ralston, Executive Director of College & Community Fellowship (CCF), a non-profit in New York City that helps women and families most harmed by mass criminalization gain equitable access to opportunity and higher education.

  • Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF),  an organization of law enforcement officials and others dedicated to improving the professionalism of policing.

  • Ted King, Police Lieutenant, Bakersfield Police Department

  • Alice Yau, PhD, Police Officer, Chicago Police Department

Moderated by Christopher Robichaud, Senior Lecturer in Ethics and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School and Director of Pedagogical Innovation at the EJ Safra Center.  

The Intercollegiate Civil Disagreement Partnership (ICDP) is a consortium of ethics centers from five institutions (St. Philip’s College, San Antonio, TX; Santa Fe College, Gainesville, FL; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; California State University, Bakersfield, CA; Stanford University, Stanford, CA) committed to reducing polarization by teaching students how to connect across political difference.

This is an online, Zoom webinar. Register for the Civil Disagreement Series, Public Safety & Policing in America event here.


Watch the recording of this past event here.