You may have been seeing and hearing the phrase “defund the police” recently. It may sound like an insane idea. How is that even possible to think let alone act on? What would happen in a world without police? Who would keep us safe from the dangerous people out there?
While this may be the first time many of us have heard of this concept, this is not a spontaneous, knee-jerk reaction to recent high profile police killings. Across the country organizers, lawyers, scholars and more have been researching and lobbying for this type of reform for many years. There are clear plans in mind (which can vary widely from one locality to another), and examples of alternative models to follow. Agree with them or not, below are resources to help you at least understand this strategy better, if not convince you of its viability.
Stop Police Terror Project DC
The name may sound shocking but this locally focused Washington DC group is working to keep their neighbors and communities safe and thriving in the best ways they know how: police reform.
8 Can’t Wait
A nationwide campaign to eliminate or reduce the power and force of police agencies. A deep pool of resources and ways to get engaged.
To “shift the discussion of police violence in Minneapolis…from one of procedural reforms to one of meaningful structural change.”
Credible Messenger Programs
Credible Messenger is an innovative mentorship program, an alternative to increasing incarceration of at-risk youth. Mentorship is an affirmative process of building communities and combating anti-social behavior.
The Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results (NEAR) Act is an example of an alternative to our current system of law enforcement which relies on deterrents to crime rather than solving root causes of crime.
Disbanding Police in Camden, NJ
In 2012 Camden, NJ disbanded its police department due to overwhelming corruption, and mistrust among the community. 7 years later, the new police force has brought improvements. https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/09/us/disband-police-camden-new-jersey-trnd/index.html
The Guardian UK
What does ‘defund the police’ mean? Rallying cry sweeping the US- explained
Washington Post Opinion
“Defund the police” is a call to imagine a safer America. We should embrace it
Rolling Stone Magazine
A Practical Guide to Defunding the Police