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Is it really a good idea to replace cops with social workers?

By Curt_Anderson
January 25, 2022 12:18 pm
Category: Crime

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Two New York police officers are dead. This was a domestic dispute call. It's the sort of call that some in the "defund police" camp say that social workers, not police, should respond to.

"Looking at models for realigning the manner in which 911 crisis responses are handled – with the purpose of reducing the presence of police officers as the primary responders to mental health or non-violent domestic disputes." --Reimagining Policing: Strategies for Community Reinvestment

The problem with domestic disputes, is that there is no advance warning if they will turn violent.

Are there really many social workers who are willing to put their life on the line as police officers are willing and trained to do? It's not credible that there would have been a happy, less lethal, resolution to this situation in Harlem had social workers responded.

(CBS-NY)“The three officers who arrived at that scene were doing their job. They came to answer a call for service, what countless officers do every single day,” Sewell said.

Police said they got a call about a domestic dispute between McNeil and his mother, a retired corrections officer. Once officers got inside, McNeil opened fire without warning, police said.

“One officer remained with the two family members while two other officers go to the back bedroom,” NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said. “As our first officers approach the bedroom, the door swings open, numerous shots are fired, striking both officers, one fatally and one in critical condition [who has since died]. As the perpetrator attempts to exit, he is confronted by our third officer who fires two rounds, striking him in the right arm and head.”


Cited and related links:

  1. newyork.cbslocal.com
  2. socialworkers.org

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