What defunding the police looks like

World Today

The weeks of massive protest against the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African American, has reignited a push to change policing across the U.S.

Many are calling called for a defunding of police departments all together.

Here’s what the future of law enforcement at the state and local level could look like. (Stay tuned for another report on what changes at the federal level could look like.)

Defunding police can include decreases in funding or transferring funding of police departments to more community-oriented aid.

Last year, after a campaign by a group called Durham Beyond Policing, the city council voted against hiring 18 new police officers and began discussing a “community safety and wellness task force” instead, the New York Times reported.

In Eugene, Oregon, a nonprofit organization works with police and goes out on calls when the request is related to someone’s mental health.

Minneapolis has also shifted funding for eight new officers toward an office for violence prevention and council members have announced a plan to disband the police department.

In the wake of the George Floyd protests, the mayor of Los Angeles is looking into cutting as much as $150 million in the police budget.

Similar considerations are also taking place in New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

Many activists point to decades of declining crime, while police funding has increased significantly.

In the last 40 years, according to a U.S Census data analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek, the cost of policing has tripled while crime, and in particular violent crime, has significantly decreased.

Back in 2014 and 2015, New York police officers staged a work “slowdown” in an attempt to show the mayor that less policing would lead to increased crime, the Guardian reported.

But crime actually decreased.

When New York City ended its controversial “stop and frisk” police policy, there was also no increase in crime.