Another California city is defunding the police.
The local outlet KQED reports that San Francisco is planning to take $120 million away from the city’s law enforcement budget.
“The Dream Keeper Initiative”
This is the plan that was announced by San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Thursday. Breed is the city’s first Black mayor.
The $120 million will be taken from the law enforcement budget and redistributed to various programs aimed at helping the city’s population of Black people, which is about 5 percent of the city’s total population.
KQED reports: “‘The Dream Keeper Initiative,’ as it’s dubbed, increases investments in workforce development, health campaigns, youth and cultural programs, and housing support. The allocations reflect spending priorities conveyed by Black residents during a series of community meetings and public surveys led last year by the city’s Human Rights Commission.”
The hope is that this redistribution will address the various problem’s that San Francisco’s black community faces, such as homelessness, high mortality rates, and so on.
The “defund the police” movement gained momentum following the death of Minnesota resident George Floyd in police custody. Subsequently, Democrats began calling for all kinds of police reform, including taking money away from police departments and investing it into black communities.
A similar plan to San Francisco’s was announced last year by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. He promised to redistribute up to $150 million of the Los Angeles Police Department’s money, which is over 10 percent of its total budget.
The argument for doing so, as stated, is that it will eliminate the sort of problems that the black community tends to come up against. Critics, however, would argue that such plans will not work because a lack of money is not a sufficient cause of the problem.
The likely result
Critics additionally argue that the consequence of such “defund the police” policies will be an increase in crime.
We, in fact, have already seen such increases in crime across the United States as police have been targeted following the death of Floyd. San Francisco, for example, experienced a massive surge in crime in 2020 with the homicide rate increasing by 35 percent.
Such increases are expected to continue in major cities as they pursue such policies as San Francisco’s “Dream Keeper Initiative.”