What does it mean to "defund the police"?

NOW: What does it mean to “defund the police“?


SOUTH BEND, Ind.--- In the wake of the George Floyd killing, many people across the country are calling for their cities to defund their local police departments. In South Bend, supporters of this movement say this would mean reallocating funding to more social services and community de-escalation tactics. 

"In just relying on policing to have sort of this one stop shop of where we need to go to solve all of society’s ills, let’s have more of a comprehensive safety model," said Emmanuel Cannady, a member of South Bend Black Lives Matter. "Police officers do too much, and they’re taught to do too much and they’re in a stressful situation so again this is to help them out."

City officials said Monday that more funding is already headed towards community investment but there are no local plans to divert funding from South Bend Police. 

"That’s really the essence of a couple things," said Mayor James Mueller. "First, our group violence intervention program, it’s 'We will help you if you let us,' and then the second part is 'We will stop you if you make us.'"

South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski says he is open to any idea that would help his officers. 

"Anything that could help alleviate 25 to 30 percent of those calls absolutely and we can focus on really being the extended arm of the community that we’re supposed to be," said Chief Ruszkowski. 

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