One of our most important topics for conversation these days is public safety. How do we keep our communities safe? With debates about how to deal with gun violence, police violence, and more, the big question is really about how local communities make their neighborhoods safe for everyone.
In fact, this is what "defunding" the police is all about. In the strict sense, this refers to the idea of reallocating some of the police budget to fund community outreach, drug treatment, mental health, and other services to support a "public health" approach. Defunding the police means shifting money from the police to other service systems that would be more appropriate for many of the situations that the police now deal with.
But what can we consider besides institutional services? What if we took a community-driven, asset-based approach to public safety? What might that look like? How would we think about safety and violence? What are some community-based approaches to public safety that don't call for police intervention?
We don't have the answers to these questions... We hope you will use this space for lively conversation on this topic.