Each week the Davis Vanguard asks candidates a question. Here's the fourth question, my answer, and a link to the article.
How would you address racial disparities in police stops?
This problem is pervasive and costs people their lives. I believe that performance based standards and budgeting, moving non-sworn staff jobs out of the police department, and shifting funding from fighting to preventing crime are three important steps in creating more equitable public safety.
To implement performance based standards and budgeting, we must collect quality data. The fact of the matter is, we don’t know who is being stopped by police. Los Angeles performed an audit using .2% data from 2019 and found misreporting for 18% on those interactions. Who knows how many interactions are missing entirely. Using auditing processes, we can identify how well police are reporting their interactions and create incentives for proper reporting. We can then determine where this issue is prevalent and create policy and incentives for change.
We have a new department of Housing and Social Services. Traffic and code enforcement and dispatch which do not require a sworn officer should be moved to this new department.
We should put our money where our mouth is and shift funding from fighting crime to preventing crime. The most commonly reported crimes in Davis are bike and catalytic converter theft. Secure parking, bike registration, and subsidizing catalytic converter cages are a few ways to help prevent these.
It is most important that we create continued conversation about this, so we can collect and implement the community’s ideas on the best ways to move forward. I don’t have all the answers, the community does.