#CallASocialWorker: Los Angeles Moving Ahead With Plan To Replace Armed Officers On Non-Violent Calls

It’s going to be a new era of public safety for Los Angeles, you know

L.A. council advances plan to replace LAPD officers with social workers on non-violent police calls

The Los Angeles City Council took its first step toward replacing police officers with social workers on nonviolent calls for service, voting unanimously Tuesday to develop a model for unarmed crisis response.

The motion instructs city officials to work with Los Angeles police and agencies like the L.A. Homeless Services Authority and county Department of Mental Health to offer “non-law enforcement solutions in circumstances that are non-criminal.” It comes amid calls nationwide for police divestment and reform in the wake of George Floyd’s killing.

Herb Wesson, one of the six councilmembers who presented the measure, said it signals “the dawn of a new era of public safety in Los Angeles.”

“The bottom line is that the way things have been going is not working for our communities,” he wrote in a tweet. “This last month has made that crystal clear. We have a responsibility to listen to our people, and our people have spoken.”

The mob has spoken, and they’re getting what they wished for.

Under the plan, trained professionals like homeless outreach and medical workers would handle certain emergency situations, such as mental health crises, substance abuse calls and even neighborly disputes.

How many “neighborly disputes” turn violent?

When L.A.’s motion was introduced, Robert Harris, director of the Los Angeles Police Protective League told the L.A. Daily News his union has been discussing the idea “for a long time” and he supports the move. The union represents more than 9,000 of the LAPD’s 13,000 employees.

“For these calls that don’t necessarily need a law enforcement response, can we shift that response to somebody else?” he said.

A big reason for the shift to armed police officers had to do with non-armed people showing up and not being able to do anything because of the violence.

In New Haven, Connecticut, it is being reported that 95.6% of calls do not involve violence

The CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) reports show that less than 4.4 percent of those dispatches—or a total of 6,809—were for calls about assault, gunfire, robbery, rape, stabbing, murder, or person shot.

There were calls that closely aligned with what Compstat reports identify as property crime: residential burglary alarm activation (12,464 / 7.97 percent of all calls), theft (6,040 / 3.86 percent), burglary occurred (1,315 / 0.84 percent), stolen auto (748 / 0.48 percent), and burglary in progress (202 / 0.13 percent).

There were dispatches that fall within what Compstat reports single out as “other crime”: criminal mischief / vandalism (3,076 / 1.97 percent), threatening / stalking (1,645 / 1.05 percent), drug / narcotics complaint (1,342 / 0.86 percent), prostitution complaint (104 / 0.07 percent), and weapons complaint (712 / 0.46 percent).

There are multiple charts at the website, worth a click, because they are big and the writing is tiny. Think how quickly things could possibly go pear shaped during these calls. Certainly, if someone has come home and the house is burgled, or their car broken into, their car was stolen, sure, don’t really need an armed officer to take the report. If the burglary is in progress? Might not want to send a social worker.

A domestic dispute? These could very well get violent. Someone having a drug incident? These can go bad, which is why police often escort ambulances. Weapons complain? No, really, they include this in “non-violent” response.

Trespassing? There’s a chance for violence. Same with noise complaint. And door check/welfare complaint. We’ve seen motor vehicle stops get violent (will social workers be allowed to cruise and give violations tickets?). Suspicious person(s). And they include warrant/wanted person. No, really.

But, hey, we should all back Los Angeles in doing this. During any experiment we need an experimental group. We can watch what happens. Hey, perhaps it works. If so, great. It can free up armed officers for important calls. Sadly, because of society (and not just in the U.S.), interactions that shouldn’t have any violence have a chance to become violent, which is why police officers started showing up where non-armed non-LEOs used to respond.

Heck, sometimes even one officer isn’t enough. Here’s in Alexandria, La

According to a post on the Alexandria, La Police Department’s Facebook page, It all started just before 9:30 p.m. Friday, when the officer saw a group of people in a vehicle near the hospital entrance playing loud music and disturbing people who were there for medical treatment.

The officer first asked them to turn down the music, which they did. Until the officer left the area, and then, they allegedly cranked up the music again.

The officer heard it, returned and instructed them to leave the property or face possible arrest. However, a short time later the officer observed the suspects back on hospital property at the entrance to the emergency room.

And the officer came back to arrest him, and the people jumped him and knocked him out, and even attempted to take his weapon. Fortunately, bystanders and other police came to the rescue. Now, can you see a social worker or some sort of non-armed police officer showing up for a noise or trespassing complaint?

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6 Responses to “#CallASocialWorker: Los Angeles Moving Ahead With Plan To Replace Armed Officers On Non-Violent Calls”

  1. David Kendrick says:

    The UK only had new scotland yard and detectives armed at any time, the majority of police officers were not armed – until that is in the 1970’s politicians imported terrorism into an unarmed population which was even further unarmed after Dunblane in 1996, where it was deemed even more necessary that people be unarmed since child killers must be everywhere and armed with kalashnikovs

    Point being going by your statistics in the US there were 8.3 million crimes violent + property leading to 365200 crimes needing allegedly armed response, yet only 1000 deaths by officer per year on average, meaning the officer/public was in fact only in immediate danger for a limited number of these events.

    Yes go to the door for callouts unarmed bar with taser cuffs, body armor and a smile, your partner nearby has the gun ready. It stops shoot first and ask questions later situations.

  2. Joe says:

    “Yes go to the door for callouts unarmed bar with taser cuffs, body armor and a smile, your partner nearby has the gun ready. It stops shoot first and ask questions later situations.” Just because one shows to a call armed, doesn’t mean they are going to utilize their tools. The presence of weapons will usually keep the situation handled. Most officers around here are alone and back up is 10 minutes out. Are they to politely ask the perp to “wait while I go get my weapon, then you can continue to attack”? Stats are all well and good until the first Social Worker hits the floor with a hole in their forehead.

    • David Kendrick says:

      You never answer a call alone, and PD which sends an armed officer to a 911 situation is putting their and the public’s life on the line. One man cannot restrain a suspect and angry bystanders without shooting. Its not a traffic citation situation.

      • Kye says:

        Since the left has demonized police work so well that many are quitting and new ones are rapidly changing their minds about joining I dare say sending cops alone in many areas will be a necessity. But they would be low crime areas like mine not the seething, crime ridden black ghettos created by the Democrat policies that have failed the black Americans. I’m sure there the cops will respond in force since owning guns in these Democrat controlled areas is usually illegal so everyone owns at least two illegal firearms.

        A cop who allows his superiors to send him into a 911 situation unarmed is an idiot and should quit. One armed man can hold ten unarmed at bay if need be. One unarmed cop is a target of opportunity. That’s just plain stupid.

        • David Kendrick says:

          As I said, he is supposed to go in with a partner who is armed. Shoot first and ask questions later is the province of the military. I remember Ruby Ridge, the situation escalated as two armed plain clothes officers we caught trespassing by a teenager with his dog after his father was posted wanted with a traffic citation.
          They had hid in bushes and were uncovered by the dog barking, they began a confrontation with the child, shot the dog, then the child since he was armed and threatened to shoot back and ran off – without making an arrest. The child was brought into the house where he died, the resulting siege situation resulted in a sniper trying to kill every adult in the home and an m113 personnel carrier demolishing the property.

          Thats the gold standard of what policing should not be, now I would respect a police officer who is prepared investigate first and risk his life in the line of duty to not shoot a child. Its different if there is an armed confrontation in progress but not if it is the officer who will be creating the armed confrontation, you escalate to that point if required.

      • Joe says:

        “You never answer a call alone”. Possibly in your little corner of the world. Where I live, on a good night backup is 10 minutes out. Unfortunately too many of the dregs that the Libs don’t want to keep locked up are finding their way here. “(A)nd PD which sends an armed officer to a 911 situation is putting their and the public’s life on the line.”. Where did you come up with this blather? You think that the first thing an officer does is pull a weapon and start threatening people? You must live in an alternate universe or a real shit hole.

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