What could cities look like if we ended policing? One professor has ideas
Sociology professor and author Alex Vitale, who is set to speak at the UMKC Cockefair Lecture on Tuesday, is calling for the end of policing as we know it. He contends that instead of directly addressing problems like gun violence and drug addiction with effective policy, the U.S. relies on police to "manage" the results.
Alex Vitale, a professor of sociology at Brooklyn College, believes it is time to end policing as we know it.
He argues that police in America are tasked with "managing" — not solving — problems like drug addiction, homelessness and gun violence instead of building up alternative infrastructures of public safety that he says would have better results.
Vitale told KCUR's Up To Date that some cities are already taking those kinds of steps.
"Dozens of (U.S.) cities have eliminated their school police departments in recent years and replaced them with more counselors, after-school programs and intensive case management for students in crisis," Vitale said. "Cities are creating non-police crisis response teams. The completely civilian Denver STAR program is a great example where they're diverting a significant number of 911 calls, having better outcomes, and crime is actually going down in the neighborhoods where these teams operate."
- Alex Vitale, professor of sociology at Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center, author of "The End Of Policing"
Alex Vitale, The Politics of Public Safety: Police Reform and Alternatives, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17 at the UMKC Student Union, Room 401, 5100 Cherry St, Kansas City, Missouri 64110.