Police in San Francisco will no longer be responding to non-criminal calls.
San Francisco mayor London Breed said that non-violent calls will now be diverted from the police department to “non-law enforcement agencies.”
Instead of officers, trained and unarmed professionals, who are equipped to deal with mental health, the homeless, school discipline, and neighbor disputes, will be called instead, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Mayor Breed said in a statement: “San Francisco has made progress reforming our police department, but we know that we still have significant work to do. We know that a lack of equity in our society overall leads to a lot of the problems that police are being asked to solve. We are going to keep pushing for additional reforms and continue to find ways to reinvest in communities that have historically been underserved and harmed by systemic racism.”
“Over the next year, the City will develop a systematic response plan to improve direct connection to community-based or City service providers,” the statement continued.
The mayor made the announcement as part of a new set of policies that will address inequalities in the police force. Breed’s plan will address police bias, demilitarize police, and strengthen accountability.
Breed’s proposal would also ban the city’s police from using tear gas in non-criminal settings. Finally, It will redirect police money to “programs and organizations that serve communities that have been systematically harmed by past City policies,” Business Insider reported.
The goal for using trained professionals instead of police is to reduce police confrontations with the public in response to nationwide protests following the killing of George Floyd.
“For too long, black people have been subjected to violence at the hands of people in power,” Breed said Thursday, according to the LA Times. “Now is the time when we can make sure that these demonstrations that we see are translated into real action.”