Creating Alternatives to Police
If the only tool you have is a hammer than every problem is a nail. In America one of the only tools we give society for public safety is people trained in violence and armed with guns. For every social problem, our society creates a police response and with devastating consequences.
People are routnienly harmed by the police and around a thousand people nationally are killed by them every year. Neighborhoods are surveilled and harrased. People get caught up and funneled into the prison system. Our communities suffer.
Police budgets have ballooned to obscene amounts, often competing for funding that institutions that our communities need like libraries and rec centers. While spending on police is currently at a historic high it has done nothing to dampen the homicide rate. There needs to be another way.
We must start to treat social problems at their root and that means we must create public safety alternatives to police. We must take away roles from them that are inappropriate. We should not send people armed with guns to deal with public nuisance companies, write traffic tickets or to deescalate people in mental health crisis.
At Amistad Movement Power we support policies that would create non-police mobile crisis teams to respond to people in mental health crisis. We support the creation of unarmed, civilian traffic safety officers to write tickets for traffic offenses. We advocate for the creation and funding of violence interrupter programs that employ people with street credibility to interrupt cycles of gun violence and stop retaliation. We support restorative justice initiatives that can help to settle beefs and create healing. We advocate for decriminalization of many low level offenses. Creating alternatives to the police will reduce violence and make our communities safer.
We amplify the voices of people harmed by gun violence and poverty who want to reduce spending on police and prisons and create alternatives. We mobilize people to speak out in the public square whether that be at city hall, in the media, or in the streets. Our work pushes us to re-imagine public safety and invest in our communities as we create real public safety alternatives. The future of our communities demands nothing less.