Kate Heston
Kate Heston kayt hes-ton (she/her/hers)

Kate Heston graduated with a journalism and mass communications degree from the University of Iowa in May 2022. She has worked as a photojournalist for The Daily Iowan and placed eighth in the 2022 Hearst Feature Writing Competition. Heston is passionate about multimedia storytelling and producing narratives that help impact change.

La reforma policial en EE. UU., es fragmentaria, no integral

ALBUQUERQUE – Reformar un sistema vasto y complejo de aplicación de la ley requerirá soluciones innovadoras y probadas, un enfoque holístico y la voluntad de cambiar. Hasta ahora, hemos visto "reformas en los bordes", con departamentos, ciudades y estados particulares que abordan elementos de la reforma policial.

Exodus from police departments could be an opportunity for change

PHOENIX – Police departments across the country are in a workforce crisis. Some leaders see this as an opportunity, and they’re trying harder to attract candidates who reflect the communities they serve, with a focus on women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Policymakers, activists and nonprofits lead way to bring more transparency to police departments

ARLINGTON, Texas – The call to increase transparency has become a standard rallying cry in police reform, but efforts have met with resistance. Some states, cities and police departments have made progress to open records. And sometimes, outside forces have stepped in when they don’t.

Police reform in U.S. is piecemeal, not comprehensive

ALBUQUERQUE – Reforming a vast, complex system of law enforcement will require innovative and proven solutions, a holistic approach and the willingness to change. So far, we’ve seen “reform around the edges” – with individual departments, cities and states tackling elements of police reform.

Elaine Maestas, left, a community oriented response and assistance responder in Albuquerque, New Mexico, makes a phone call alongside Albuquerque Community Safety responders Chris Blystone and Deborah Vigil on July 7, 2022. They responded to the aftermath of a SWAT raid that left a family of five without a home. (Photo by Kate Heston/News21)

Civilian agency in Albuquerque responds to nonviolent police calls

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque Community Safety, launched in 2021, responds to the city’s non-violent calls – from welfare checks and mental health crises to shelter space requests. City officials say they have diverted thousands of calls from police.

Albuquerque Community Safety responder Chris Blystone makes a phone call while police officers talk on July 7, 2022, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The new agency responded after a police SWAT raid left a family of five without a home. (Photo by Kate Heston/News21)

New Orleans police monitor has hope for meaningful reform

NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Police Department has been under a federal consent decree for a decade. National experts have highlighted it as a model of reform, but the independent police monitor who holds the department accountable has a more measured response.

New Orleans is on track to claim the title of murder capital of the nation this year, according to the Metropolitan Crime Commission. The recent spike in violent crime comes at a time when the police department is understaffed. (Photo by Kate Heston/News21)

Why police unions keep negotiations secret

PHOENIX – Activists demand more transparency during contract negotiations between police unions and cities. News21 speaks to Kevin Robinson, a former Phoenix assistant police chief, to explain the process and why it’s kept secret.