Boston Globe Article asked Alexander Weiss for his expert opinion on the subject of defunding the police.
Amid cries to defund the police, what are the alternatives?
It’s a message scrawled across homemade signs and reverberating through protests across the country: Defund the police.
The idea — to cut or eliminate funding to police departments — strikes some observers as extreme. But activists say the rallying cry is the only sensible course of action after decades of piecemeal reform efforts that did little to change police culture.
Camden, N.J., is the only American city in recent history that has purposefully dismantled and rebuilt its police force. Now Minneapolis, reeling after the death of George Floyd, has signaled it will try the same. More typical is the adoption of patchwork reforms that leave departments mostly intact. New Orleans, once seen as impossibly corrupt, has embraced a commitment to transparency in recent years. Houston tapped the rhetorically progressive Art Acevedo as its first Latino police chief in 2016. And Eugene, Ore., pioneered a program that diverts 20 percent of 911 calls to crisis workers rather than police.