Sipes: Cops said that replacing them with social workers wouldn’t work. They were right.

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Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

Crisis Responders Are So Backlogged That It Can Take A Week To Respond

CrossCut is a Pacific Northwest media organization. They offered an article on the implementation of a social worker program created to respond to non-emergency 911 calls in King County.

King County is the most populous jurisdiction in the state of Washington, and the 12th-most populous in the United States. The county seat is Seattle, also the state’s most populous city, Wikipedia.

From their reporting: (paragraphs shortened or rearranged for brevity).

Since the law took effect in August, many service providers are reporting a breakdown in managing people in severe crisis.

What was an already shaky response system has begun to crumble, they say, as law enforcement has pulled back from engaging.

In Seattle, police in August committed 45% fewer people to the hospital than was the norm during the previous four years — a trend that’s continuing into September, according to publicly available data from the police department.

Now, providers are ringing alarm bells. More than 20 King County service providers recently called for an “emergency summit” with city and county leaders, seeking clarity on what instructions those in law enforcement are receiving from police leadership, a legal analysis on the implications of the new state law and a plan for creating more alternatives to police.

The letter states:

“Our community’s ability to adequately respond to behavioral health crisis events is itself in crisis…..” 

It continues:

“Without urgent action, people living with behavioral health conditions, the staff and organizations who care for them, and the community at large are at serious risk,”

People with two kinds of jobs are authorized to detain someone to bring that person to the hospital: designated crisis responders and the police.

Designated crisis responders, however, are so backlogged that it can often take them a week or more to respond. Historically, that delay has left the police as service providers’ only backup option, for better or worse.

Don Clayton, clinical director with Catholic Community Services, said:

“It’s just a tragedy to not be able to get someone the treatment that they need,”

He added:

 “That’s so hard to see.”

CrossCut

Not The Only Problem In Seattle-Cops Leaving-News Week

Over 200 officers have left the Seattle Police Department since the 2020 summer protests, including Carmen Best, the city’s first Black police chief.

Officers have quit in protest of calls to “defund” the police, which includes cutting salaries and cutting jobs for as many as 100 police officers. Interim police Chief Adrian Diaz said the department’s reduced numbers have led to a “staffing crisis,” News Week.

More Problems With Replacing Law Enforcement-Minneapolis-Associated Press (rearranged quotes for brevity)

As activists mobilized this summer to ask Minneapolis voters to replace their police department, one of the first prominent Democrats to slam the plan was a moderate congresswoman who doesn’t even live in the city.

Angie Craig declared it “shortsighted, misguided and likely to harm the very communities that it seeks to protect.” She warned that it could push out the city’s popular Black police chief.

As a city that has become synonymous with police abuse wrestles with police reform, the effort is sharply dividing Democrats along ideological lines. The state’s best known progressives — U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar and Attorney General Keith Ellison — support the plan, which would replace the police department with a new Department of Public Safety. Other top Democrats, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Gov. Tim Walz, oppose it, Associated Press.

So far this year, Minneapolis has recorded more than 500 gunshot wounds — roughly double the four-year average prior to 2020, Minnesota Reformer.

Replacing cops with social workers for non-emergency 911 calls is part of the plan.

Conclusions

Bureaucracies are pounded with criticisms but the funny thing about them is that they work.

Yep, their cumbersome and lack innovation. But complex social issues can only be addressed by rules, training, continuous funding sources, sufficient staff, and procedures.

Don’t want cops to respond to emergency social work calls? Then create and fund the bureaucracy (without dipping into police funs) that makes it work or you get a self-created “behavioral health crisis.”

The same will happen to Minneapolis and other cities as they contemplate “alternatives” to policing.

There are endless quotes on change management, “If you want to make enemies, try to change something,”–Woodrow Wilson.

But change cannot be done on the cheap. It has to be well thought out and supported or you get the current wave of explosive violent crime and crisis patients who need help with no one coming.

Police reform may be supported per Gallup, but making people’s lives demonstrably worse seems cruel and regressive to me.

See More

See more articles on crime and justice at Crime in America.

Most Dangerous Cities/States/Countries at Most Dangerous Cities.

US Crime Rates at Nationwide Crime Rates.

National Offender Recidivism Rates at Offender Recidivism.

An Overview Of Data On Mental Health at Mental Health And Crime.

The Crime in America.Net RSS feed (https://crimeinamerica.net/?feed=rss2) provides subscribers with a means to stay informed about the latest news, publications, and other announcements from the site.

Author

Leonard Adam Sipes, Jr.

Retired federal senior spokesperson. Thirty-five years of directing award-winning public relations for national and state criminal justice agencies. Interviewed multiple times by every national news outlet. Former Senior Specialist for Crime Prevention for the Department of Justice’s clearinghouse. Former Director of Information Services, National Crime Prevention Council. Former Adjunct Associate Professor of criminology and public affairs-University of Maryland, University College. Former advisor to presidential and gubernatorial campaigns. Former advisor to the “McGruff-Take a Bite Out of Crime” national media campaign. Certificate of Advanced Study-Johns Hopkins University. Former police officer. Aspiring drummer.

Author of ”Success With The Media: Everything You Need To Survive Reporters and Your Organization” available at Amazon and additional booksellers.

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LET Unity

After explosion in student violence, city council that got rid of school resource officers brings them back

October 15, 2021

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Following a spate of violent incidents occurring at Alexandria City Public Schools, the city council narrowly voted to reallocate school resource officers at middle and high schools earlier in October – despite the same council having voted to remove officers from schools just five months earlier.

Following an hours’ long debate that stretched into the early morning hours of October 13th, the Alexandria City Council voted 4-3 in favor of restoring SROs in middle and high schools for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year.

Much of what reignited the debate of SROs, after the council voted to have them removed from school five months earlier, came after a series of videos made the rounds online that depicted fights involving Alexandria middle and high school students.

The collective footage is disturbing.

On and around school grounds, Alexandria middle and high school students can be seen punching, kicking, and stomping their peers and adults – all captured on cellphone cameras. These recordings were shared all over social media and ultimately found their way to news outlets.

A violent attack in a school cafeteria was captured on camera, as was a parking lot fight with a group of kids kicking another student who was lying on the ground.

High school students assaulted a man inside a McDonald’s restaurant near Alexandria City High School in another incident captured on camera.

The video shows students engaging in a heated verbal confrontation with an adult male customer, which quickly escalated into students punching and kicking the guy in the face and head.

Jennifer Rohrbrand, a local parent in the community, said the following about the incidents depicted on video:

“When I watch these videos, I would say my reaction is shock, complete shock.”

Evelin Urrutia, the executive director of a local NPO, found the footage concerning – but somehow still feels that eliminating SROs from schools was the right choice because she feels that uniformed officers can intimidate minority students.

Damon Minnix, who is both an Alexandria Police officer and President of the Southern States Benevolent Association, says quite the opposite – noting that uniformed officers in schools serve as a valuable deterrent to violence and other crimes:

“Wherever you have a police officer, safety tends to follow.”

Superintendent of Schools Gregory C. Hutchings Jr. literally pleaded with the city council to bring back SROs in light of the violence impacting the schools in Alexandria:

“I’m pleading with the City Council this evening that we reinstate our school resource officers immediately.”

This past May, the city council voted to remove SROs and reallocate the $800,000 budget toward onboarding more mental health professionals for schools. However, despite the SROs having already been ousted at the onset of the 2021-2022 school year, no additional mental health counselors had even been hired.

The city council meeting that started on the evening of October 12th and ran for six hours into the early morning of October 13th saw rigorous debate between those conceding that SROs are needed and those claiming there is no correlation between violence in schools and the absence of SROs.

Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson found himself agreeing with parents that these concerns of violence are legitimate and grew tired with some members of the city council pushing back so hard against the idea of reinstating SROs in schools:

“I can’t think of a bigger waste of my time than what just happened for the last three hours. I thought we were going to have a productive conversation about how we move forward in our community on a problem. I don’t think we had that…This sucks. This is disastrous”

Despite the back and forth during the city council meeting, a consensus was reached to reimplement the SRO program for the remainder of the school year, with additional discussions to take place on what long term solutions will look like in future school years.

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