I overheard a conversation today while sitting in the waiting room to see my doctor. This conversation was between an older woman and a young man. Both talked about how we need to do away with the police, defund them, move towards a community-based form of policing, and allow the community to investigate crimes.
The conversation became rather funny when a third person joined in asking them what community policing would look like, and just how the community would investigate crimes. Neither had a reasonable answer.
I remember back to 8 December 2018 when two police officers pulled someone over on Alameda. It was the Gang Task Force pulling over a guy with warrants. He fired at officers as they approached his car. The suspect then ran off.
Police were not sure if the suspect ran into a school that was nearby, or not. Their priority was to protect those children and get them out of harm’s way. Fortunately, the suspect, in this case, was arrested on Clark Street.
Would community policing have intercepted the suspect? Would random people in the community place their lives on the line to protect these kids, and others in the community? Would members of the community have investigated, found the guy, arrested him?