The NEAR Act stands for the Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results Act of 2016.
The law, which passed the D.C. Council unanimously, was the product of a District-wide conversation around policing and public safety. The NEAR Act sought to establish a framework to ensure residents safety while also addressing police abuses.
The Act aims to reset the conversation on policing to recognize that public safety can’t be produced through mass incarceration or racial profiling. It lays out the frameworks for establishing community-led violence prevention efforts
These programs have extraordinarily good results. Cities as diverse as Chicago, New York, Baltimore, and Richmond, CA, have seen between 40% and 70% reductions in shootings, sometimes in just one year. They work by empowering respected community members to act as conflict mediators, combining that with particularly tailored access to social programs to help people change their circumstances.
The money is there: all it takes is our elected officials to put the will behind fully funding the NEAR Act.