3-28-18 – “Arrest & Incarcerate” has been the response to crime for the last 30 years leaving us with overflowing jails & prisons, lives and communities destroyed and with little to no increase in public safety. We need to rethink public safety in order to proactively address the root causes of crime. Re-Investing in Public Safety would redirect money from the arrest & incarcerate model to partnerships with social services.
In this context, policing needs to find a new role–true community policing. Police need to de-emphasize arrests, and instead focus on neighborhood problem-solving.
That means they would be looking and talking to community members to find the immediate causes of crime–a drug house, lack of street lights etc. Police can’t and shouldn’t try to solve all those problems themselves. Instead they would partner with government agencies, non-profits, community groups and individuals to find the best solutions.
A new role for policing necessitates a new organization for police departments. Beat cops need to have more authority to make decisions and they should be assigned to specific areas so they get to know the communities; the hiring process should emphasize finding guardians rather than warriors; evaluations need to be based on problems solved rather than arrests; finally, the department needs to emphasize transparency so that communities have the information they need to be empowered problem solvers.
A link to our community policing presentation is here.
If you would like us to present to your neighborhood group, church group or social justice organization, please contact us at 314-332-1262.
January 25, 2018
LA TIMES OP-ED — “The evidence provides a blueprint for a new model of urban policy: Instead of relying entirely on police departments and the criminal justice system, we should be investing in the residents and community organizations that have always had the capacity to control violence, but have never had the resources to do so in a sustainable way.”