Cities Adopting Public Safety Transformation; Police Budgets Being Redirected to Public Safety & City Services; No Defunding Rather Re- Bundling.

PUBLIC SAFETY

SITUATION:
Rather than Defund Police, cities are merging Police & 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 police funding to social workers & mental health providers.
Rather than seek to prosecute and sue police officers for misconduct.
Efforts to limit  the negotiating power of police unions emerge,
Some Police unions oppose police public-sector integration, resisting change.

SOLUTIONS:
Transform Police & Pubic Safety into one department under a director.
Create an Office of Law Enforcement Support:
Cities are redirecting police funding to other departments under Public Safety.
Even health services for substance abuse, mental illness & homelessness.
Social workers or mental health providers are working with police.
Particularly,  if incidents suddenly turn violent & confrontational.
Police would like to see some of their responsibilities shifted to other agencies.
Cities accepting adoption & seeking coherent explanation as to how such changes would work.
Some examples of how this would work is Sunnyvale, Newark, Albuquerque Depts of Public Safety.
Combined Department of Public Safety provides major city services; Fire, police, emergency medical services.
Every service that protects, prevents, & supports the community.

Proposed New Organization:
1) Public safety departments would include Police, Fire, Safety/Emergency,- Office of Law Enforcement Support
2) Health & Safety Services including any matter or issue involving the general welfare & safety of the city and citizens.
3)Public Safety Resource Protection and Emergency Services Director & Administration would provide leadership & strategic guidance.
4)
Five organizational divisions of the Office of Law Enforcement Support:
Law Enforcement, Security, Intelligence, Technology, & Interior Security.
5)  Office of Law Enforcement Support: to include within the Health and Human Services Agency
     Would be dedicated to a safe & secure environment for patients at state & local facilities.
OLES would develop law enforcement, security, & intelligence policies & procedures.
6) An integrated department would merge administrative, upper management, and support functions;
Would maintain the traditional distinct job functions of police officer, firefighter, or paramedic, healthcare, & support services.
7) Health Services could be either apart of or adjunct to Public Safety with functions, priorities, & civic objectives to be coordinated & integrated.

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 also to:  kevin.rector@latimes.com

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