Step 2: Determine Goals and Budget Reallocations
Investing in communities is the best way to build real safety. That's why we must invest in resources and programs that foster the strength, well-being, resiliency, and safety of BIPOC and low-income communities. It is evident that police departments and their budgets have grown at the expense of these investments and it is necessary to rethink the scope, function, and power of police.
This section provides a menu of options regarding reallocations of police budgets as well as ways to shrink the scope, function, and power of police departments. An important framing question to ask yourselves as you decide your goals is: Which current police functions could be reassigned to and performed better by others? The next section, “Step 3,” will focus on programs to invest in to build public safety for everyone.
By far, the largest expenditure in police department budgets is personnel. Thus, you must be prepared to address personnel expenses, which often entails navigating collective bargaining agreements and/or state or charter requirements.This section will provide you with guidance and a number of examples of how to identify potential reallocations in a range of short and long term ways.
Creating a commitment to good public safety jobs outside of policing
In considering which functions and services should be performed by other people instead of police, a central tenet of that effort ought to be ensuring high labor standards and job quality for those public safety professionals. If we believe that mental health and crisis response, homelessness services and outreach, and violence prevention, for example, are pillars of a vision of public safety, then the jobs that make up those services should be sustainable, desirable, and family-sustaining public sector careers. Here are a few principles and questions to keep in mind as you strategize around reinvestment goals:
Gain a careful understanding of who is affected by these shifts.
- If creating a new workforce, how are you setting a high standard for those jobs with regard to job quality and collective bargaining rights?
- If transitioning personnel, how are you ensuring those workers have a voice in the transition and a maintenance of the job quality?