Community//

How to SAFELY Defund Police Departments

How to Make Our Communities Safe for Everyone

Have you heard the expression “KISS?”

If not, that stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. Why is that important? Because anything that isn’t simple won’t get done. So, this is so important, wish me luck.

Here are the steps to SAFELY Defund Police Departments:

  1. If we can increase public safety without the need for police, we won’t need so many of them and/or we can better and more inexpensively utilize them.
  2. In your city have your Mayor, Chief of Police and President/CEO of Board of Supervisors call a Town Hall Meeting that will be seen by the public online or in person if your city has opened up.
  3. Invite the heads of all groups for example, Black Lives Matter, who are demanding police reform and defunding of the police department to attend.
  4. At the meeting have the Mayor state in no uncertain terms:

We have heard your protests. We have heard your demands. And we are here to begin to respond and take action on them. To do that, we need your help. Our, and I mean yours and my, police department is here to serve and protect and to increase public safety for all of us.

That means responding to crimes or possible criminal activity, traffic  violations, matters of domestic violence, actions of people with mental impairments who are disrupting our community, and other matters that are threatening public safety and de-escalating those situations. If any of you can tell us of a plan with actual steps that all of us can visualize to do that people other than the police can do, it would allow our law enforcement agencies to have to do less and as a result enable us to safely defund or reduce funding to our police and sheriff’s departments. 

We all know the problems we face in keeping our community safe and the more you can actually participate in effective solutions to do that, the less we have to do and less money our law enforcement departments will need.

We are here to listen to your solutions. We have a suggestion for you to consider before you speak so that you will have the best chance of being heard and having all of us consider what you say.

To do that, try to have your proposed solutions, first, make sense meaning that it sounds rational; next, seems like it could work meaning that it sounds reasonable; and finally, feels like it is doable by the people who will be tasked with doing it and who will be held accountable for doing it meaning that is sounds realistic. This also includes, how to transition from where we currently are to what we could be.

To make this a constructive meeting, let us all listen to what solutions any of you come up with – which might include our next step would be a day or two long extension of this to hammer out the details – and as we are listening ask ourselves if what you are saying makes sense, seems like it could work and feels doable.

And if as we all listen, any of us hear red flags that indicate that any of those criteria are not being met, let us respectfully ask the person who is speaking to clarify or suggest what could be done with their solution to make it work or for us to offer comments that would build upon what they have said.

I hope I have kept it simple.

If I have and it makes sense, feels like it might work and seems doable, I hope you will pass this piece to your Mayor, Chief of Police, District Attorney and CEO/President of your Board of Supervisors to see what they think.

The measure of a civilization is how it treats those who have hurt it and who are hurting in it.

Together we can make our world more civilized.

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