I love this cartoon by one of my favorite artists, Elisabeth McNair. It definitely represents my current mood.
For anyone that missed last week’s blog post, you can click here. As a continuation of that blog post, I wanted to add a little information about defunding the police. It’s the latest hot topic, and it’s not as scary or drastic as some people think. I see so many people reacting to the idea negatively that haven’t researched it. They are reacting to something they don’t understand. It simply means shifting some of the police budget into social services.
Below are examples of how New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco are already moving in that direction.
The Los Angeles Police Department was set to receive a large increase in its annual budget from $1.189 billion last year to $1.86 billion (most of the budget increases were for new police bonuses) for 2020-2021. Mayor Eric Garcetti has now decided to cut $100-$150 million from that budget to invest in youth jobs and health initiatives that serve the community.
Mayor London Breed announced that San Francisco officers will stop responding to non-criminal activities such as disputes between neighbors, reports about homeless people and school discipline interventions as part of a police reform plan. Officers would be replaced by trained, unarmed professionals to limit unnecessary confrontation between the police department and the community.
In New York, more than 40 city council candidates are calling for a $1 billion cut to the NYPD’s $6 billion budget over four years to help fund other programs such as the city’s summer youth employment program. New York state Senator Julia Salazar said, “I think we need to consider a divest/invest model. When we look at their resources, and how they’re deploying them violently and recklessly, it makes the case even stronger for reducing their budget, and then using those funds for social services…”
Think about it this way, what are your values? Do you want to invest in youth jobs, community centers, rehabilitation programs and health services? Or more policing, and continuing with what is in place currently that obviously isn’t working? Which plan sounds like a sensible and sustainable approach to you?
(The topic continues in the comment section below.)