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Change Research + HIT Strategies: Messaging for Reimagining Crime and Public Safety

With crime rising as an issue priority among all demographics, HIT Strategies and Change Research developed messaging to lead on public safety and navigate crime issues ahead of the midterms. Our expansive report incorporates a review of existing research and includes a baseline poll, six focus groups, and two subsequent messaging polls to support a tested and comprehensive message to reimagine public safety.  

We found that a majority of Americans support police reform. Americans understand that police can’t solve every problem and non-police responders are best equipped to handle a variety of crises, from homelessness to mental health episodes. 

More Results 

  • 62% of Americans prefer funding alternatives to police over maximizing funding for police departments. 
  • Young people (18-49), Black people, and Latinx women are the groups most supportive of reallocating money away from police budgets and towards prevention and alternatives. 

Best Practices for Messaging 

  • Center the community and the solution, not the conflict. 
  • Call out our reliance on the police to solve every problem. 
  • Call for prevention instead of punishment, particularly when combating the “crime rising” narrative.