The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday (June 30) approved a measure to build “an unarmed model of crisis response that would replace police officers with community-based responders for nonviolent calls,” CNN reports. The vote was unanimous.
Nonviolent calls typically include mental health-related issues, substance abuse matters and personal disputes, according to CNN. City Councilmember Herb Wesson Jr. took to Twitter on Tuesday to share the good news. “This is the dawn of a new era of public safety in Los Angeles,” he wrote.
The Los Angeles City Council has just approved the first step in our plan to replace LAPD with a community-based, unarmed emergency responders for non-violent calls for service. This is the dawn of a new era of public safety in Los Angeles.— Herb J. Wesson, Jr. (@HerbJWesson) June 30, 2020
The model will be developed by the Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA) and the City Administrative Officer (CAO), with assistance from the Los Angeles Police Department and the city’s Housing Services Authority, officials said.
The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and other relevant government service providers will also be involved in the development and implementation of the model.
The measure directs the CLA to analyze and report back on programs utilized domestically and internationally, as well as other models of crisis intervention. It cited CAHOOTS, a community policing partnership that has been in place in Eugene, Oregon, as an example of a program to examine.
“This last month has made that crystal clear. We have a responsibility to listen to our people, and our people have spoken. I look forward to continuing this work alongside @BLMLA,” Wesson posted on Twitter.
This crucial vote in Los Angeles comes in response to weeks of global protests against police violence and calls to defund the police, primarily sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd. Supporters of defunding the police believe unarmed responders to nonviolent calls will present a safer alternative for community members.