Police reform is local.
We have been outraged for years by the amount of profiling and injustice POC have endured from our police community. Recently things have boiled over in the wake of several high profile unjust killings at the hands of police and their brutality. Young men and women have been killed for just being suspected of crimes. Excessive force is used more and more. How do we ensure our local police department reflects our values as a community? It's simple. Vote in your local elections. Often overlooked for higher profile state and national elections this is where we can really change what happens in our own backyards but for some reason these elections have far smaller turnouts.
Your mayor is ultimately responsible for criminal justice and policing reform in the city you live in. The mayor appoints the police chief and the police chief oversees the training, hiring, and investigating of the police department. If police brutality in your area worries you, take a closer look at your mayoral candidates and their colleagues to ensure that your next police chief is someone you can trust to protect and serve your community. Attend a town hall meeting or other events and ask some serious questions and state your concerns. Serious questions need to be asked. Does your major believe in the certain training methods for your police department. Some enforce combat (Dave Grossman's famous Killology), others enforce de-escalation. You can easily check their websites or Facebook pages to find out where the next event is held at. Check the candidates social media platforms. Do your research, and involve others. Make what they stand for transparent.
The chief of police has only one constituent to keep happy, the guy who hired him, the mayor or the city manager. A chief might care about “the community,” but he only answers to one man or city council.
The most straightforward way to get accountability and support in law enforcement is to give the power over it to those they serve and protect: the people.
A vote in a local election not only has a far greater effect on your own life, the vote itself matters exponentially more.
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