by Jake Dima
The Los Angeles City Council approved a measure Tuesday that would allow unarmed community responders to step in for uniformed officers on non-violent calls, according to news reports.
The local government’s initiative was unanimous and will replace police on calls for drug overdoses and mental health issues, among other non-violent situations, according to CBS Los Angeles. The city is likely to draw on its health and homeless departments to strategize on the new style of policing.
“The Los Angeles City Council has just approved the first step in our plan to replace [the Los Angeles Police Department] with community-based, unarmed emergency responders for non-violent calls for service,” Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson said in a Tuesday tweet. “This is the dawn of a new era of public safety in Los Angeles.”
Wesson said the standard method of policing was “not working.”
The bottom line is that the way things have been going is not working for our communities. This last month has made that crystal clear. We have a responsibility to listen to our people, and our people have spoken.
I look forward to continuing this work alongside @BLMLA.
— Herb J. Wesson, Jr. (@HerbJWesson) June 30, 2020
Calls to both reform and limit the scope of law enforcement have followed the death of George Floyd, who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, a viral video showed. Drastic police reforms have since taken place all over the country.
New York City officials slashed the New York Police Department‘s budget by over $1 billion Wednesday after hundreds of protesters occupied the streets outside of city hall, according to Syracuse.com, and some city councilmen wanted to strip the police force of even more funding.
“To everyone who is disappointed that we did not go farther, I want to be very honest and candid, I am disappointed as well, I wanted us to go deeper,” New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said before the final vote, according to Syracuse.com.
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Jake Dima is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Los Angeles Police Officers” by Michael Dorausch. CC BY-SA 2.0.