Scroll Top
Where do we go from here?
Since our origins in the Ferguson Commission, Forward Through Ferguson has been committed to Justice For All

In September 2019, we released The State of Police Reform report, which tracked movement on changes in the law enforcement space since the killing of Michael Brown Jr. and the release of the Ferguson Commission report.


For several years, we continued to convene conversations through the Power Behind the Badge Series to understand community needs and the limitations of our current arrest-and-incarcerate model. These conversations led us to advocate for a two-year First Responder Alternative (FRA) Pilot Program (a.k.a. Civilian First Responder Pilot) in St. Louis County.


Community at State of Police Reform Forums name FRA as top priority 

(Ferguson, O’Fallon Park, Dutchtown)


Power Behind the Badge Series engages community, local, and national leaders


Formation of FRA Pilot Coalition

FTF Data & Research Team develops #Transforming911 Advocacy Tool

Image of St. Louis residents discussing #Transforming911.


FTF publicly launches

FTF hosts three community events across the St. Louis region to share original research and storytelling with 100+ residents


FTF releases full #Transforming911 report

FTF releases statements and makes press appearances calling attention to the impact of 911 delays during climate crises

Civilian First Responder Alternative Program: Why Here? Why Now?

Imagine you’ve got an emergency. Maybe someone you love is having a mental health crisis. Maybe you hear a disturbance in your neighborhood.

What if you could call 911 and have a dispatcher assess the situation, then send a team of civilian first responders who arrive at the scene in a well-equipped FRA van?

The team of civilian responders could work together to secure the scene, conduct a brief mental health assessment, ask the person what support or services they might need, and give the person in distress a care package – with food, hand warmers, a bottle of water, and socks – as well as make a referral to a social services provider in the area.

This isn’t the norm in St. Louis right now, but it is in places like Denver, San Francisco, Oakland, and Eugene, and it is something that we could also achieve through the creation of a Civilian First Responder Program in the St. Louis area.



Ferguson Police Department (FPD)

North County Police Cooperative (NCPC)

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Deparment (SLMPD)


Window of examination


Conversations with internal and external stakeholders


Advocacy efforts, landscape changes documented


Types of change catalogues (program, practice, policy)

The First Responder Alternative Program will provide:


    Forward Through Ferguson is a founding member of the Defund. Re-envision. Transform. coalition.

    Our Partners