Having had several, um, “opportunities” to call on Philly’s armed constabulary over the years, I am keenly interested in the various descriptions of what “defunding the police” means. One Philadelphia activist group says it’s time to “fund our communities, not police.”
Back in the last millennium when I was helping on a project in the Fairhill community, we went house to house and asked what the residents’ top three priorities were. In most houses, it was “1. Crime, 2. Crime 3. Crime” with trash as the fourth, if pressed. One neighborhood man suggested we erect guard towers and outfit them with machine guns, a suggestion we did not choose to implement.
Somewhere between machine gun towers and disbanding the police is the effort underway to roll out a “group violence intervention” model of police and neighbors strategically cooperating before crimes are committed. It has worked well elsewhere. For the sake of every Philadelphian, but particularly those plagued by gun violence, may it work well here as well.
Editorial cartoons from this week include: