In the early 1990s, crime was at a historic high. The “tough on crime” movement rose in response, and the nation saw expanded mandatory minimums, three-strikes, and zero-tolerance laws. Youth were a particular focus, with gang violence plaguing most major cities.
It was in the wake of these troubling trends that a small team of influential law enforcement leaders questioned how to prevent crime in the first place.
This group included current and former NYPD commissioners, Elliot Richardson (U.S. Attorney General under President Nixon and Ford) and other concerned police chiefs, sheriffs, district attorneys, and crime survivors from around the country. In 1996, they launched Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a national group of law enforcement leaders who would work to prevent crime by helping at-risk children succeed in life.
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids’ members and staff realized that law enforcement wasn’t the only sector affected by young people’s trajectories in life. In 2006, they formed the nonpartisan nonprofit Council for a Strong America in order to create a launching pad for other organizations of American leaders who care about the next generation’s ability to become productive members of society.
Earlier this year Tom Wine was asked to serve on the Fight Crime: Invest in Kids National Leadership Council! The National Leadership Council is comprised of some of our country’s most engaged members, including chiefs of police, sheriffs, prosecutors and crime survivors.
The National Leadership Council will urge other law enforcement leaders to join the organization; provide feedback as Fight Crime: Invest in Kids explores new policy issues to tackle. The Council will be an advocate with corporations and foundations to help fund Fight Crime: Invest in Kids’ work; speaking out for evidence-based policies and programs that steer kids away from crime; and, as opportunities arise, be a national spokesperson for the organization.