The National League of Cities (NLC) released a new report, On the Frontlines of Today’s Cities: Trauma, Challenges and Solutions, detailing the rising amount of harassment, threats and violence directed at local government officials. The report details findings from a recent survey of local officials, with 87% saying they have observed an increase in attacks on public officials in recent years and 81% reported experiencing harassment, threats and violence themselves. Many survey respondents cited social media as the most frequent place such attacks occur.
The report highlights the negative impacts such attacks can have, such as the interruption of services and more elected officials resigning from office or choosing not to run because of the potential risks to their safety or well-being. Several helpful tips for local governments are also offered, including improving physical security, establishing codes of conduct for public meetings, and implementing mental health and trauma management strategies.