The year 2020 has been unprecedented in so many ways that I dare not list them. At the federal, state, and local levels, our leaders have been confronted with numerous challenges. This year is certainly replete with plentiful subject matter for a public policy class and I struggled with what should be included. However, given the topic of this weeks chapter and recent national conversations, I felt we should include a discussion on a pervasive and related matter defunding the police.
For me, the phrase defund the police can be confusing and alarming. However, I often attempt to look for positives in situations and search for teachable moments. Since we are concentrating on budgeting and public policy this week, I want to see if we can extract some positive lessons somehow.
Review the report titled Would Law Enforcement Leaders Support Defunding the Police? Probably If Communities Ask Police to Solve Fewer Problems. You can find a copy in Course Content under the Week Three Assignments folder, or you can use this link: Would Law Enforcement Leaders Support Defunding the Police?
Police departments are all stretched thin with wide-ranging responsibilities and limited resources. Lets have a discussion about that. Read the report above and other sources on the topic, and address the following:
- Given the limited budgets that police departments are faced with, should we consider reallocating some of law enforcements current responsibilities? Explain you answer.
- What are some of the front-line/first responder roles currently being filled by law enforcement that could be handled by non-law enforcement?
Keep in mind, we are not looking to debate opposing political views, rather, we are looking at the reality that law enforcement agencies must operate with the mandates they are given while maintaining public trust. I expect civil discourse and respect for opposing positions.
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