No matter where we come from or what we look like, we all deserve to know we will make it home safely each night. Heavy-handed policing and racial profiling have fueled an epidemic of police brutality in the United States. While there is a need in our communities for well-trained, restrained law enforcement, there’s a far greater need for community outreach, crisis intervention, education, and social services. We create more problems than we solve when we send armed officers to deal with people experiencing homelessness, addiction, or mental illness—all issues social workers and medical professionals are better suited to address.
By holding officers accountable when they act against the public trust, and by giving communities the power of oversight over their sworn officers, we can help build trust and raise our community standards for policing. Investing in proactive solutions to chronic social problems, combined with providing anti-bias training and trauma support for law enforcement, will protect our communities and make our streets safe for everyone.