WASHINGTON (Feb. 3, 2021)—The murder of George Floyd and other similar, recent events brought police brutality and racial injustice to the attention of the nation. In cities and towns across the United States, people have protested calling for police reform.

In a new policy study, Emily Mooney, R Street resident fellow and manager of criminal justice and civil liberties discusses how free market principles can achieve lasting, effective police reform. Mooney details four principles that are uplifted in a free market that would be beneficial for law enforcement agencies to increase focus on: having a strong vision and mission that promotes community health and safety; revising responsibilities; improving knowledge processes; and aligning incentives. Mooney notes that by improving the application of these principles, law enforcement’s resources will go farther which will allow them to balance public safety with community health.

“The inclusion of community health in police department vision and mission statements does not mean police should become more involved in areas of practice in which they have little expertise. Rather it should encourage police departments to recognize all of the consequences associated with their actions and to use their comparative advantage, in collaboration with other community actors, to meet these challenges,” said Mooney.

Read the full policy paper, “How Free Market Principles Can Improve Policing Past 2021,” here.