San Francisco Mayor London Breed has announced a series of “reforms” to her city’s police department which one former Police Commissioner immediately described as nothing short of “pure political pandering.” Rather than trying to enforce the law and maintain order and safety for the citizens, Breed’s plan seeks to “shift funding” away from the police and stop them from handling certain types of crimes, lessening their presence in the community. One of the most notable and alarming directives calls for the police to no longer respond to “disputes between neighbors” or issues with homeless people. Such issues would instead be handled by vaguely described “social workers.” (CBS San Francisco)
San Francisco police will no longer be called to settle disputes between neighbors, or to handle homeless people, or any non-criminal cases, according to a new plan announced by Mayor London Breed.
But not everybody thinks it’s a good idea.
“This is pure political pandering,” said Joe Alioto-Veronese, a former San Francisco Police Commissioner.
Alioto-Veronese said the SFPD is already underfunded and understaffed and that the concept of contracting social workers has its limits, as evidenced by the homeless crisis.
Alioto-Veronese is doing nothing more here than simply pointing out the obvious. This is a case of the Mayor of San Francisco taking a knee in the hopes of quieting protesters and rioters that are constantly filling the streets of her city. Good luck with that. There are no reforms that are going to satisfy many of the people who are looking to leverage the George Floyd story for all it’s worth.
What’s far worse is the potential these changes have to actually worsen violence in the community rather than lessen it. When it comes to “disputes between neighbors,” there are far too many situations where even the most capable social worker is going to be completely out of their depth. By the time somebody feels the need to dial 911, matters have generally gone far beyond the point of Bill and Hank arguing over which weedkiller works best on dandelions.
If an argument has come to blows and shows the possibility of escalating to weapons of any sort, you need someone in uniform on the scene who is trained in how to properly and physically break up the altercation and deescalate the situation until cooler heads prevail. Very often, just the sight of a police car and some uniformed officers will be enough to end the disturbance. But if some civilian in normal street clothes shows up and tries to interfere, they may very well wind up with a punch in the nose themselves.
When it comes to the city’s homeless encampments, there are already social workers out there on a regular basis trying to help those who are willing to accept assistance. You generally only see the police getting involved when some of them are breaking the law and/or becoming violent. Some of them are also dealing with mental health or addiction problems, making the potential for violence an ever-present concern. Social workers are wonderful for certain situations, but sometimes you simply need the strong arm of the law.
Breed is also taking the opportunity to push for fewer instances of armed officers showing up at schools. That’s going to come as great news for any psychopaths out there who are thinking of shooting up a bunch of students and teachers. Because we all know how well “gun-free zones” work, right?
We are in the process of watching portions of the country committing a form of ritual suicide in response to what is increasingly becoming a case of mob rule. And while I hate to say it, there’s going to be an ugly price to be paid for this somewhere down the line. I wouldn’t expect that bill to be long in coming, either.