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Survey Asks LA Residents For Input On Replacing Police With 'Unarmed Trained Specialists'

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - City Council members want to know how Angelenos feel about public safety and policing as the city aims to develop unarmed crisis response teams to handle nonviolent situations.

A survey released Tuesday by Council President Nury Martinez, along with Councilmen Herb Wesson, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Curren Price and Bob Blumenfield, includes questions about respondents' personal views on police, including whether an increased police presence makes them feel safer and whether they believe an unarmed model of crisis response is appropriate for nonviolent incidents.

Some of the questions include:

  • "What does 'defund the police' mean to you?";
  • "Do you believe that unarmed trained specialists from a non-law enforcement agency should respond to non-violent 911 calls?"; and
  • "Do you believe that unarmed city employees from the Department of Transportation should enforce routine traffic violations?"

Council members say nonviolent crisis responders would include medical professionals, mental health workers, homeless outreach workers and other unarmed professionals with specialized training.

The survey also asks for input on whether the Safe Passage program and other types of community safety initiatives should be expanded, along with questions about possible public safety alternatives.

"Whether it's reforms, re-imagining public safety or how we invest dollars and resources in disenfranchised communities, there will be dialogue where this City Council listens and the people of Los Angeles speak," Martinez said. "As the city's legislative body, we introduced and sponsored these actions, but any reform must start and end with public input if we are truly going to work toward transformative change in the city of Los Angeles."

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