Reimagine Safety: A Civil Liberties Concern
Summary by Florence Field
Incidents of horrific killings and mass violence seem to fill our news these days. Intense discussions are heard almost everywhere: why is extreme violence happening so often? Who’s to blame? Why can’t we stop it? What should be done?
The Editorial Board of the Washington Post has launched an investigative project, called Reimagine Safety, to see what violence in our communities might look like if viewed differently. Generally, response by government agencies and the public has largely been punitive. But as summer approaches, we can see that punishment cannot remain the dominant response to calls for greater public safety.
The Washington Post tells us “we rely too much on the police.” They are called by the public to deal with an unbelievable range of problems, from public urination to disastrous acts of terror. The Board continues: “Policing was never meant to solve all those problems … Over-reliance on police is preventing us from imagining and investing in other public safety tools” to achieve safe communities.
How then can we achieve public safety? The Editorial Board suggests we need to change the way we think about public safety. It is simply not just about law and order, about jail and punishment, any more than public health is just about doctors and hospitals.
The article describes and analyses a number of ideas, projects and programs developed and implemented by communities and organizations throughout the country. Many are works in progress, but most exhibit elements of surprising success. The descriptions are concise, deep and often very insightful. Statements are often supported by numbers, graphs, tables – adding authenticity to the presentations.
This is a short summary of the original Washington Post news story, and limitation of space doesn’t allow us to give a detailed description of the innovative programs being currently tried out by various cities, communities and organizations to try to lessen violence and achieve public (and often personal) safety.
We encourage you to use the link to the story below). The experiences told of the various efforts being made to bring about a public environment that is safer and more pleasant will show you that there is a light (however faint) at the end of most tunnels. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/interactive/2021/reimagine-safety/?utm_campaign=wp_post_most&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_most&carta-url=https%3A%2F%2Fs2.washingtonpost.com%2Fcar-ln-tr%2F30c9219%2F6050d76e9d2fda4c880df1fa%2F5e99d5daade4e25735b5baaa%2F15%2F71%2F6050d76e9d2fda4c880df1fa