New York City is moving to test out the Left’s proposed police reform plan to replace law enforcement officers with social workers who are trained to help people suffering from mental health issues.
Police reform was the most contentious topic of 2020 following the George Floyd race protests and riots in response to Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck to force him into submission, ultimately resulting in his death.
The Left took the opportunity to slam the pro-police Trump Administration and political Right as racists who condone “state-sanctioned murder” of Black and Brown people—a claim that is abjectly false.
To pander to minority voters, the Left immediately began calling to defund or abolish the police since they are “beyond reform,” according to them. But one idea that sprang forward during that time was replacing police officers with social workers to better de-escalate situations with people experiencing mental health crises.
New York City will be the first major metropolitan area to test this theory out, despite vast criticism from the Right saying that sending in people who are unprepared to respond to imminent threats simply will not work and could result in even more death and injury to responders.
Nevertheless, social workers will be sent in place of NYPD officers to respond to mental health calls in northern Manhattan early this Spring, the Associated Press reported.
The test-run of the city’s plan passed last November “will begin in three Harlem and East Harlem police precincts that together accounted for over 7,400 mental health-related 911 calls last year,” which was the most anywhere in the city, according to Susan Herman, the director of mental health advocacy group, ThriveNYC.
Specifically, the program will take place in Harlem’s “25, 28 and 32 police precincts,” Patch says.
Instead of sending law enforcement officers, “three-person teams composed of two EMTs and a social worker will be dispatched to mental health emergencies — overseen by the FDNY and New York City Health + Hospitals, rather than the NYPD.”
The outlet added that police officers “will still respond to calls that involve weapons or imminent risk of harm.”
Clearly, this initiative to pilot police reform has good intentions of preventing cases of police brutality when a situation may be better handled by a social worker. However, it also leaves the door wide open for bad people to abuse it during this hostile time for law enforcement, leaving social workers and EMTs, who are unequipped to handle violence, in a vulnerable situation.
As much as I am pro-law enforcement and don’t buy into the idea that police brutality against certain races is rampant across America, I think this effort is worth a shot, one reason being the simple possibility of it actually working.
I am doubtful that it will be highly successful based on the possibility that situations can and do quickly turn violent. But there is the off-chance that it could work – and that would be a great thing for Americans who struggle with mental health. The fact is we won’t know until we try.
If it doesn’t work after it is tried again and again, the Right will be able to say that definitively when this issue arises again. And it will re-appear, so long as the Democrats use race-baiting as a tactic to pander to minority voters.
So, why not let them try and see what happens before we get ourselves up in arms?
It’s important that we remain open-minded when it comes to reforming an institution that admittedly has problems. We can support our law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line for our safety on a daily basis, while admitting that they are not without fault and could use reform.
It never hurts to stay hopeful.