Sustainability Tip: Creating a safe, healthy, thriving community — 8 things to do instead of calling the police

By Gillian Ramirez, Alliance Intern from UC San Diego

In light of recent unjustifiable police brutality and the potential danger for people of color, here is a list of 8 things to do instead of calling the police, from Community Resource Hub. We hope this increases everyone’s sensitivity and awareness so that all forms of unnecessary police interaction and violence can be avoided. Together, we can have safe, healthy and thriving communities.

  1. Foster a culture of caring for one another and being conscious of potentially vulnerable individuals. To do this, teachers, coworkers and organizers can limit potentially harmful police interactions by not inviting cops into the classroom, workplace or public space. 
  2. Do not assume that “odd” behavior automatically means public intoxication. Instead, consider that they may be experiencing a medical episode or a traumatic brain injury.
  3. If someone is looking or acting “suspicious”, reconsider any racial, gender, ethnic, or socioeconomic prejudices that may be influencing your perception of the situation. Police calls can mean death sentences for many.
  4. It is important to remember that police can exacerbate domestic violence situations. Instead, show support to friends and neighbors by offering a safe place to stay, a secure ride or watching their children. 
  5. Go over and talk to your neighbor if their party is getting too noisy. Becoming more acquainted with your neighbors through community events like block parties is a great opportunity to politely ask them to be more mindful of how loud it gets during parties.
  6. Have a running list of community resources for mental health crises like suicide hotlines. This is important because, in the event the police are called, mentally ill individuals are 16x more likely to be killed by cops than those without mental health challenges. 
  7. Get involved in de-escalation, conflict resolution, first-aid, volunteer medic, and self-defense workshops in your neighborhood, school, workplace, or community organization
  8. Instead of calling the police when you notice someone with a car issue, ask if you can help them or call a tow truck. The police may give out unnecessary tickets to those with car issues and use it as an opportunity to target undocumented individuals. 

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