But simply reducing budgets without first addressing how police forces are structured and function, is an invitation to even worse outcomes. So instead of “defunding” or “abolishing” the police, we ought to look to cities that have successfully recreated their law enforcement structures on principles that genuinely honor the central ideas of protection and service.
A lot of people are talking about Camden, New Jersey, which has the distinction of being (a) one of the most corrupt cities in New Jersey and (b) a city that took the extraordinary step of disbanding its entire police force.
But the most interesting thing isn’t how Camden abolished the Camden police. It’s how the city successfully recreated a police force that sees itself as an ally of the community rather than its warden.