The Stanford Criminal Justice Center and Stanford Center for Racial Justice at Stanford Law School are co-sponsoring research to assess concrete ways to shift particular responsibilities from police departments to other agencies and organizations. We will explore whether there are policy possibilities lying at the intersection of the community policing movement – which advocated shifting police departments away from “chasing 911 calls” – and current calls to “defund” the police and shift to other agencies functions now performed by armed, uniformed officers.
In particular, we will consider proposals to shift mental health response, school discipline, traffic enforcement, and homeless services away from armed, uniformed officers. What kinds of agencies should shoulder these responsibilities? How should the transfer be accomplished?We will also ask how these policy changes relate to, complement, or compete with other possible approaches to police reform and the transformation of public safety. Should they be part of an overall effort to shrink the footprint of police departments, to change the nature of what police departments do, or both? How, if at all, should changes in police budgets be used to drive reform?