THEREDUCTION OF THE ROLE OF THE POLICE IN SOCOETY WILL RESULT IN MOREEMPOWERED AND SAFER NEIGHBOURHOODS
Recentyears have observed a significant increase in police brutalityagainst unarmed Black boys and men. The unlawful killings ofindividuals like Akai Gurley, Eric Garner, and John Crawford sparkedprotests in the various states of the US.1As a result, radical police reforms were put into effect to counterthe increasing rivalry between the police and the civilianpopulation. Initiatives like community policing, diversifying thepolice service, enhancing training, body cameras, and even communitycontrol of the police were implemented. Nonetheless, all theseefforts did not yield the desired outcome. Changing the role of thepolice in society is the solution to bringing back a state of orderin society.
Achange in the role of police in the community involves dialing backon depending on the law enforcement agencies to resolve disorder andneighborhood crimes. The community usually relies on the lawenforcement agencies to ensure that law and order prevail in thecommunity.2This way of thinking can be brought to an end by empowering themembers of the community to solve their problems. The war on drugs,for example, has experienced numerous setbacks because access torehabilitation services is usually predicated on police contact.
Thepolice are endowed with the tools of physical coercion and arrest.Thus, the individuals that are in crisis choose to suffer in silenceinstead of seeking help. This problem can be resolved by developingcivilian teams that work together with the members of the communityto end to the drug menace.3Additionally, the institutionalization of community-based mentalhealth facilities that do not require the drug users to make contactwith the police should be considered. Such an approach will motivatethe affected parties to seek help.
Similarly,the most serious offenses that the youths commit are more receptiveto the community-based approaches to mitigating crime. The police,more often than not, use force and coercion to quell criminalbehavior. The community-based initiatives, in contrast, work withyoung adults to bring an end to violence through communityempowerment and public health campaigns.4Although the impact of these approaches has not been documented, asubstantial number of case studies have revealed that such strategiesdo not result in incidences of mass criminalization.
Finally,the measures to get the police out of educational institutions shouldbe implemented. Research indicates that criminalizing school goingchildren leads to a decline of safety in schools.5Moreover, the neediest learners are usually forced to leave schooland join the gangs in the street, where they engage in seriouscrimes. Studies have proven that endowing the liberal school leaderswith the resources to institute restorative justice programs canboost safety in schools.6These initiatives usually engage students in the disciplinary processand attempt to consider issues such as the background of a personwhen resolving problems.
Ina recap of the above discussion, the process of reforming the policesystem should not focus on making the law enforcement officersfriendlier or more professional. The primary focus should be toreduce the function of the police in the community. The members ofthe community should be empowered to solve societal issues withoutthe intervention of the police. As a result, safer and more stablecities and neighborhoods will come to life, as discussed above.
Vitale,Alex S. "We Don’t Just Need Nicer Cops. We Need Fewer Cops."TheNation.Last modified 2014. Accessed December 14, 2016.https://www.thenation.com/article/we-dont-just-need-nicer-cops-we-need-fewer-cops/.
1 Alex S. Vitale, "We Don’t Just Need Nicer Cops. We Need Fewer Cops." The Nation, last modified 2014, accessed December 14, 2016, https://www.thenation.com/article/we-dont-just-need-nicer-cops-we-need-fewer-cops/.
2 Vitale, "We Don’t Just Need Nicer Cops. We Need Fewer Cops."
3 Vitale, "We Don’t Just Need Nicer Cops. We Need Fewer Cops."
4 Alex S. Vitale, "We Don’t Just Need Nicer Cops. We Need Fewer Cops." The Nation, last modified 2014, accessed December 14, 2016, https://www.thenation.com/article/we-dont-just-need-nicer-cops-we-need-fewer-cops/.
5 Vitale, "We Don’t Just Need Nicer Cops. We Need Fewer Cops."
6 Vitale, "We Don’t Just Need Nicer Cops. We Need Fewer Cops."