Cities Consider Police & Public Safety Integration; Portions of Police Budgets Being Redirected to Public Safety, Not Defunded; Sunnyvale is Best Example.


SITUATION:

Rather than Defund Police, merge Police and Public Safety Depts.
Majority of Californians support sweeping reforms to law enforcement.
Movement to defund the police is an existential threat to law and order.
Being done in the face of chaos on protests on streets & upticks in crime.

SIGNIFICANCE;
Effort is to shift some of police funding to social workers & mental health providers.
Some seek to prosecute and sue police officers for misconduct.
Efforts to limit  the negotiating power of police unions emerge.
Such movements cause by growing concern about race relations.
Some Police unions oppose police public-sector integration.

SOLUTIONS:
Police, Fire, & Pubic Safety would be one department under a one director.
Surveys favor redirecting police funding to other departments like Public Safety.
Or health services for substance abuse, mental illness & homelessness.
Social workers or mental health providers to work with police.Particularly,  if incidents turn violent.
Police would like to see some of their responsibilities shifted to other agencies.
Cities seeking a coherent explanation as to how such changes would work.
Best example of how this would work is Sunnyvale, CA Dept of Public Safety.
Combined Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety provides 3 services; Fire, police &  emergency medical services.

SAYS:
“The data suggest that there’s widespread public concern about police practices,”– Eric Schickler, co-director of UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies.
“When it comes to a lot of the specific proposed reforms or potential reforms on policing, you see really wide-ranging support- -Eric Schickler, co-director of UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies,

STATS: [Survey in California]
80% favored passing laws that would make it easier to prosecute police officers.
78% favored banning officers from using chokeholds and strangleholds.
70% favored granting civilians the right to sue officers for misconduct & excessive force,
61% favored limiting power of police unions by reducing collective bargaining rights.

SOURCES:
“Defund the police protests spur Albuquerque to create new alternative to police department” – The Washington Post – https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/06/15/wake-calls-defund-police-albuquerque-creates-an-alternative-department/

“California voters overwhelmingly support sweeping police reforms, new poll finds” –
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-08-12/californians-back-police-but-also-police-reform-poll-finds

“The City that Really Did Abolish the Police” – https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/06/12/camden-policing-reforms-313750

How one city provides public safety without a police department  – https://www.marketplace.org/2020/06/10/how-one-city-provides-public-safety-without-a-police-department/

Attribution:  kevin.rector@latimes.com

1 Comment

Leave a Reply