Think about the street you’re living on right now. And think about the couple of streets that make up your corner of the neighborhood or city block.
Ask yourself: who would you rather have taking care of your neighborhood?
- 10 Cops
- 2 Cops
- 2 Child Protective Service Workers,
- 2 Emergency Paramedics,
- 2 Professional Counselors,
- 1 Neighborhood Watch Volunteer, &
- 1 Animal Care Specialist
This is the idea behind Defunding the Police.
And when the question framed this way, two things become clear. First, absolutely nobody is saying there should be zero cops. Anyone who says that’s the argument is lying.
Second, the answer to this little pop quiz is obvious. A focused coalition of cops, healthcare workers, and community leaders comes much closer to the range of services we actually need in our neighborhoods.
Do you know what’s great about firemen? They have a super clear role in society. There is no doubt that when a fire erupts, a fireman can and should be called, and that they will fix a real problem.
In contrast, there are so many instances where police involvement is either unnecessary (to save bird-watching Karens). Or downright harmful. Recall Tamir Rice’s story, for one example.
You see, social services are at their most effective when everybody has a clear set of 1 to 2 jobs. But as the former Dallas police chief said, we are asking police officers to solve every societal problem: from homelessness to catching loose dogs. Instead, we need a smaller number of officers who are focused on the statistically proven crime hot spots.
What people are asking for is simple. Social services that, if they were funded properly, would diminish the need for police. And in order to make lasting progress, the reorganization needs to start from the ground up.
Thank you for reading. If you have a moment, please consider giving to any one of these legal aid organizations.