LA Police League Pushing To Accelerate Alternative Policing
The Los Angeles Police Department’s continuous struggle to efficiently discharge its duties has led the Police Union to push for Alternative Policing. The union, representing over 9000 officers, presented the City Council with a list of 28 emergency calls that unarmed personnel should handle.
The union highlights the problem of understaffing and slow response time as a reason to consider alternative policing. The union’s president, Craig Lally commented on the situation, saying police officers deal with too many calls and could use help from unarmed service providers.
The list submitted by the union to the Council includes non-violent homeless and mental health-related calls.
According to Epoch Times Report, other issues like parking violations, tenant disputes, illegal gambling, dog complaints where no attack has occurred, public defecation or urination, panhandling, calls to schools for non-violent juvenile disturbances, welfare checks, non-violent incidents at city parks, under the influence cases where no other crime is involved, public drinking, and cleanups of encampments should also be passed on to non-profit workers and other agencies.
Lally believes this initiative will enable a focused approach and faster response time to critical emergencies.
Alternative policing has been on the City’s agenda. With the union’s new proposal, an accelerated response is expected soon. The LA City Council voted to establish “Office of Unarmed Response and Safety” to address non-violent crimes, which aligns appropriately with the Police Union’s demands.
Union director and former LAPD officer Debbie Thomas also supported the move claiming police officers aren’t psychologists, psychiatrists or mental health experts.
“We are not social workers, doctors, nurses or waste management experts,” she added.
While the Police Union awaits the City Council’s resolution, this initiative isn’t peculiar to Los Angeles. States like Washington, San Francisco, Olympia and New York are also considering alternative policing while some have already launched.
The LAPD Chief Michel Moore fully subscribes and believes alternative policing has proved an effective tool to divert thousands of calls in the category the union earmarked from police response. He added that officers can now conserve limited resources for more serious calls.