Thursday, February 2, 2023

What Does Defund The Police Really Mean

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Is There Any Push To Actually Defund Police Departments

What Does âDefund The Policeâ Really Mean?

Yes, or at least to reduce their budgets in some major cities.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday that the city would move funding from the NYPD to youth initiatives and social services, while keeping the city safe, but he didn’t give details.

In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti vowed to cut as much as $150 million that was part of a planned increase in the police department’s budget.

A Minneapolis city councilmember said in a tweet on Thursday that the city would “dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response.”

“We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department,” Jeremiah Ellison wrote. “And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together.” He did not explain what would replace the police department.

A majority of the members of the Minneapolis City Council said Sunday they support disbanding the city’s police department. Nine of the council’s 12 members appeared with activists at a rally in a city park Sunday afternoon and vowed to end policing as the city currently knows it.

“It is clear that our system of policing is not keeping our communities safe,” Lisa Bender, the council president, said. “Our efforts at incremental reform have failed, period.”

Policing Diverts Billions Of Dollars From Schools Health Care And Other Vital Programs That Need More Funding To Strengthen Our Communities And Support Shared Well

U.S. cities collectively spend $100 billion a year on policing, while needed investments in education, health care, housing, and other critical programs go unfulfilled, particularly in poor communities and communities of color. New York City, for instance, spends more on policing than it does on the Departments of Health, Homeless Services, Housing Preservation and Development, and Youth and Community Development combined.

Our tax dollars must be reallocated from this system that regularly murders Black people with impunityand instead invested in programs that strengthen our communities.

On The Bright Side: The Defund The Police Movement May Mean Less Traffic Stops

Yet, on the brighter side, one of the programs being pushed, may be less traffic stops!

Another one of the other interesting points the Crime America article raised, was that there would likely be much less enforcement of traffic infractions.

This sentiment is actually resounded by law enforcement too!

As Ray Dietrich Founder of Americas Keepers says:

Defunding many of the traffic enforcement programs eliminates MANY negative feeling contacts with law enforcement, with people who may not have any other contact at all. People feel like it is a revenue engine for the government, and well, it might just be.

I would not propose ending all traffic enforcement, it is a public safety issue, but I would suggest passing the enforcement actions to patrol officers and stopping units such as motorcycle enforcement. This would keep the traffic contacts to those who probably deserved it most, and change the public sentiment about police.

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But Wouldnt Crime Increase Without Police

One of the main arguments raised by those who oppose defunding: What will we do about crime if police forces are made to scale back? Advocates counter that investing in communities and providing them with resources will reduce crime on its own for example, a 2016 report from the Obama White Houses Council of Economic Advisers found that a 10 percent increase in wages for non-college educated men results in approximately a 10 to 20 percent reduction in crime rates.

But on top of that, those in favor of defunding also point out that police departments across the country consistently have low rates of solving crimes, even as their budgets have increased threefold in the past 40 years. In 2019, for instance, Minneapolis police only cleared 56 percent of cases in which a person was killed. That same year, Baltimore recorded at least 347 homicides, a record-breaking level of violence, but ended the year with a 32 percent clearance rate for homicides in 2015, the rate was 56 percent. Across the country, rape cases result in a notoriously low number of charges: In 2017, police closed just 32 percent of rape cases, and hundreds of thousands of rape kits have sat untested in police storage for years. According to an FBI database, about 30 percent of robberies and less than 15 percent of burglaries and motor-vehicle thefts result in arrests.

Wouldn’t Defunding The Police Mean More Crime

What Does the Call to Defund the Police Really Mean?  NBC ...

Though this is a common argument from opponents of defunding the police, many activists counter with evidence that demonstrates that less policing would not actually lead to rising crime. In fact, several examples suggest that defunding the police would actually lead to less crime, rather than more a 2017 report, for instance, studied a period of time from 2014 to 2015 during which the NYPD pulled back on “proactive policing,” and found that there was a significant decrease in civilian complaints of major crimes during this time.

Moreover, several other examples demonstrate that investing in social services and providing more resources for the community decrease crime on its own. A 2016 report from the Obama White Houses Council of Economic Advisers, for example, found that a 10 percent increase in wages for non-college educated men results in approximately a 10 to 20 percent reduction in crime rates.” Other studies have shown that increases in the number of nonprofit community organizations effectively lead to reduction in crime rates across 264 cities, demonstrating the value of reallocating police funds to community resources and social programs.

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What Are Lawmakers Saying

Sen. Cory Booker said he understands the sentiment behind the slogan, but it’s not a slogan he will use.

The New Jersey Democrat told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he shares a feeling with many protesters that Americans are “over-policed” and that “we are investing in police, which is not solving problems, but making them worse when we should be, in a more compassionate country, in a more loving country.”

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said part of the movement is really about how money is spent.

“Now, I don’t believe that you should disband police departments,” she said in an interview with CNN. “But I do think that, in cities, in states, we need to look at how we are spending the resources and invest more in our communities.

“Maybe this is an opportunity to re-envision public safety,” she said.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his campaign view the emergence of the “Defund the Police” slogan as a spark of opportunity during what has been a trying political moment. Trump’s response to the protests has sparked widespread condemnation. But now his supporters say the new mantra may make voters, who may be otherwise sympathetic to the protesters, recoil from a “radical” idea.

Trump ramped up his rhetoric on the issue on Monday, tweeting: “LAW & ORDER, NOT DEFUND AND ABOLISH THE POLICE. The Radical Left Democrats have gone Crazy!”

What Does Defund The Police Mean And Does It Have Merit

Defund the police means reallocating or redirecting funding away from the police department to other government agencies funded by the local municipality. Thats it. Its that simple. Defund does not mean abolish policing. And, even some who say abolish, do not necessarily mean to do away with law enforcement altogether. Rather, they want to see the rotten trees of policing chopped down and fresh roots replanted anew. Camden, New Jersey, is a good example. Nearly a decade ago, Camden disbanded its police force and dissolved the local police union. This approach seems to be what Minneapolis will do in some form, though the nuances are important.

Different from abolishing and starting anew, defunding police highlights fiscal responsibility, advocates for a market-driven approach to taxpayer money, and has some potential benefits that will reduce police violence and crime. Below, I outline some of the main arguments for defunding the police.

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What Does Defund Mean

Defund means to withdraw financial support from, especially as an instrument of legislative control. The call to defund the police seeks to use the power of money to produce systemic change that previous, incremental efforts at reform have not yielded, according to many activists, researchers, and some leaders.

Heres their argument:

Police forces have been receiving an increasingly disproportionate amount of a citys budget. Instead of paying for such things as extensive officer overtime and expensive military equipment, cities should reallocate that money to a citys social services, such as mental health, education, and housing.

Reallocate, here, means to reassign money initially set aside for one agency or department and put into the budget of another.

In other words, fund a social worker, teacher, job or money coach, or health professional to help a person before their challenges lead to a moment of crisis that requires a police officer. Defunding thepolice, the thinking goes, will help break cycles of violence.

Policing In The Us Was Established To Maintain White Supremacy

Defund the police: What does it really mean?

The police are not a neutral body, and the institution is inherently biased. In the U.S. slave patrols and night watches were the beginning of a racially directed system of law enforcement designed to secure capital for white settlers.

Over the past 40 years, the expansion of racially targeted policing and policies such as stop-and-frisk and the war on drugs have helped fuel mass incarceration in the U.S., with African-Americans incarcerated at more than five times the rate of white people. Black and Brown people are disproportionately targeted from a young age, with hundreds of thousands of children ages six to 14 arrested, often by police officers stationed in schools as school resource officers.

Police forces have also become more militarized. Since 1990, the federal government has transferred $6 billion of excess military equipment to local law enforcement agencies under its 1033 Program, giving police access to mine-resistant vehicles, assault rifles, and grenade launchers. For years police have also undergone warrior training that teaches them to see every encounter as potentially life-threatening, especially when those encounters involve people of color. Every year on-duty police kill an estimated 1,000 people.

Whats more, a recent study revealed that hundreds of active duty officers from across the country are members of racist and anti-government groups on Facebook.

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What Does It Really Mean To Defund The Police

A few months ago, calls for police reform began to resonate across the country.

Now, months later, protests continue with few constructive strides toward progress. Instead, knee-jerk reactions and bold catch phrases have been put forth that leave more questions than answers.

Defund the police is one of the phrases bantered about. In the many protests I have attended I have asked the question of those carrying signs in support, asking what does defund the police mean. Most cant really define it. They give a vague statement that in some way fewer police means fewer confrontations and a reduced police presence.

According to Brookings sociologist Rayshawn Ray, defund the police means reallocating or redirecting funding away from the police department to other government agencies funded by the local municipality.

I have attended hundreds of neighborhood meetings, beginning in the mid 1980s as a neighborhood policing team member and later as a community policing supervisor and then as an area district command and patrol captain. During that time, I have never had anyone request a reduced police presence or reduction in service.

In fact, it was almost always the opposite.

People liked having a police presence in their neighborhoods. A recent Gallup poll found that amongst black and white Americans the response was nearly equal, with over 80 percent wanting a police presence in their communities.

The question is, what does the community want police to stop doing?

Where Would The Money Go Instead

Defunding the police favors putting money into other social programs that continually suffer from underfunding, like public education, public hospitals, public infrastructure, counseling, and social work. In New York City, for example, the operating budget for the police department $5,668,823,000. Comparatively, city services for the homeless topped out at $2,061,776,000 and youth programming had a budget of $872,141,000. Advocates of defunding the police say that city and municipal budgets should reprioritize community resources â many of which could address issues, like mental health and homelessness, that often currently lead to police intervention â instead of spending all that money on law enforcement.

The list of underfunded programs is extensive, but by and large police funding has been favored over investments in “drug treatment, mental health support, educational completion programs, and supportive interventions for families in crisis,” per the CPD report. Moreover, research shows that these social programs are “more effective, less expensive, and more humane ‘crime fighting’ strategies than increased incarceration and policing,”CPD reported, but they lack the funding that policing has.

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Beyond Local: What Does Defund The Police Really Mean

Ask two people what defund the police means, and you may get two different answers: the growing movement has called for everything from modest cuts to policing budgets to the abolishment of police forces altogether.

The most popular explanation, however, appears to be: reallocate some policing costs toward mental health, addiction treatment and social services while reframing the role of the police themselves particularly in Black and Indigenous communities.

But experts are worried the issue has been muddled among the general public.

I think it definitely becomes a political football and it misses the point, said John Powell, a civil rights expert and director of the Othering and Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.

The point is and I think we have a high consensus on this who believe it that police are out of control and we need to actually do something to make the police more accountable and to make them really be concerned with public safety for all people, not just white people.

Yet confusion over what advocates are pushing for has persisted, which experts say is allowing critics to dismiss the movement without confronting how it could help with police reform.

That confusion needs to be solved and turned into meaningful policy, they say, which can only happen through difficult conversations.

And then its incumbent on them to find solutions.

But Cohen says its not protesters job to come up with the right slogan.

– Global News

Our Tax Dollars Should Be Invested In More Humane And Just Alternatives To Policing

What does " defund the police"  really mean?

That includes funding health care workers to respond to mental health emergenciesinstead of the police. It also means shifting our resources to transformative justice approaches that support survivors and work directly with the person who has caused harm through community-based systems of accountability. Under these models, community members work together to keep each other safe.

The human costs of investing in policinginstead of our communitieshave been social as well as financial. We have created a society that looks to policing as the answer to our problemsboth real and imaginedcalling the police not only in emergencies, but also in response to white peoples fears or annoyance in many situations where people of color are simply trying to live their lives.

Defunding police is one step we can take to free up resources and public imagination for more just and humane approaches to community safety and shared well-being. Its time to defund the police.

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What Could Transformed Public Safety Look Like

The most prominent example of radically changing a police department comes from Camden, New Jersey. In 2012, the city dissolved the city-run police department and replaced it with a department run by the countya move some citizens were wary of. But while the drop in violent crime there is largely attributed to increased attention to social services, the price tag appears to be heftier. Officers still patrol the streets, and the budget for this city of roughly 74,000$68.45 million last yearis almost double what Minneapolis spends on a per capita basis.

Of Minneapoliss $1,567.1 million budget, $184.9 million, or just under 12 percent, went to the police department in 2019. Mayor Jacob Frey proposed to bump that up 4.5 percent in 2020 for 14 more officers focused on neighborhood outreach, domestic violence and sexual assault, and traffic, plus continuation of the mental health co-responder program and other line items, to a total of $193.3 million, still about 12 percent of the citys budget.

Other departments were already proposed to carry some public safety efforts: Funding for a new trauma-informed domestic violence program would come from the city attorneys office, for example, and an expansion of the Group Violence Intervention program would come from the health department.

One popular reform idea already drawing attention is a residency requirement that officers live in Minneapolis.

Why Not Just Reform Police Departments

Though many politicians argue for reforming police departments using commonsense solutions like installing civilian review boards and banning warrior style training, which instructs officers to view all encounters as dangerous and to prioritize their own safety, advocates argue that incremental reform has failed to combat police violence in any meaningful way. After a white officer shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson in 2014, for instance, there was a nationwide push for officers to wear body cameras, which advocates predicted would improve police accountability. It has not been successful. An extensive study of more than 2,000 police officers, published in 2017, found that the body cameras had almost zero effect on deterring officers from acting with unnecessary force and, as evidenced by the recent police shooting of David McAtee, officers can simply turn off their cameras. Another example: The NYPD banned choke holds more than two decades ago, which didnt stop Officer Daniel Pantaleo from holding Eric Garner in one until he stopped breathing.

Police unions, which wield great political power, also push back against criminal-justice reform that would promote transparency and accountability. Amid the protests, pressure has mounted within unions that represent police officers notably, the AFL-CIO to expel all police affiliates many of those putting pressure on the unions also support defunding.

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