DCJ Welcomes Police Reform Policy & Organizing Coordinator Rob Vanella

After a robust search, the Delaware Center for Justice (DCJ) is excited to announce that Rob Vanella is joining the DCJ team as the organization’s first Police Reform Policy & Organizing Coordinator. A native of Wilmington, Rob is well-known to listeners of the Highlands Bunker podcast and readers of The Delaware Call, of which he is co-founder and serves as Coordinating Editor.

“I feel like I’ve been training my entire life for a role like this,” says Vanella. “I am excited to leverage a broad, diverse network of advocates, activists, and organizers in Delaware as well as the journalism we’ve done over the last five years (and will continue to do) to make a real impact on police reform policy in this legislative session.”

Rob’s position represents a partnership between the Office of Defense Services, the First State’s provider of legal services to indigent and incarcerated clients statewide, and DCJ, a provider of advocacy and services for justice-involved Delawareans since 1920. Rob’s leadership role, new to the social justice ecosystem in Delaware, was created to fill an existing coordination gap within police reform efforts and to support a broad coalition that will advocate for systemic changes to improve relations/trust between Delaware communities and law enforcement. Based out of DCJ, Vanella will have access to the full resources of the Office of Defense Services to meet these challenges head-on as he connects with key stakeholders in the coming weeks.

“Last year, the General Assembly took an important, if imperfect, first step toward meaningful policing reform with the passage of House bills 205 and 206,” says Dave Bever, executive director of DCJ. “We’re delighted to have Rob on board to support and coordinate next steps to guarantee that we don’t lose momentum in this crucial work.”