Disaggregating the Police Function

DisaggregatingDisaggregating the various functions of modern police agencies provides us the basis to start to reimagine how we might go about building better systems of layered responses to the social problems we have for too long left at the feet of policing agencies in American.

Today’s episode features our Facebook Live conversation with Professor Barry Friedman from New York University Law School and the Policing Project. Professor Friedman was just appointed as a special advisor to New York Attorney General James’ investigation of police actions responding to demonstrations.

Professor Friedman’s research paper with the same title as this podcast is centrally focused on the two major questions:

  1. Are the police the best agency to be responding to the wide variety of calls that modern police agencies are forced to respond.
  2. If we disaggregate all of the functions of police agencies can we create a new system of layered response from social workers, trained mediators, and violence against women advocates that can find actual long-term solutions to the problems at the heart of the disputes police are responding to?

These are vital questions for a grand public discussion how we might reimagine policing especially considering the time we find ourselves in. As a society for decades have continued to do nothing but pull resources from social services and then told the police you have to cleanup the mess left by our political leaders.

In Chicago there are two clear examples of doing just this over the last several years including

Sadly the only signals the Mayor of Chicago has sent are strongly against even engaging in the desperately needed pubic discussion around what policing should look and function like in a world where equal treatment under the law is a real requirement.

Disaggregating the police functions should be a focal point in any discussion around real reforms to police in America and especially in Chicago.

Author: Tracy Siska

Tracy Siska is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chicago Justice Project.

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