Our district’s experience is plagued by gun violence and property crime, yet our police officers are not equipped to handle most of the urgent work that falls to them. Police officers are not social workers or mental health specialists. We need to reorient our city’s response to violence in a proactive way that centers social services and crisis response. Public safety in Berkeley must be data-driven, respectful of privacy rights, and cognizant of implicit bias.
Safety does not end with preventing crime. The staffing capacity of our Fire Department has not kept pace with the City’s population growth. Berkeley’s neighborhoods must be resilient and prepared in the face of earthquakes, floods, and wildfires.
As your District 2 City Councilmember, I will work to reimagine the role of law enforcement in the City of Berkeley and prioritize firefighter retention, training, and the maintenance of robust wildfire prevention and hazard mitigation.
- Rigorous de-escalation training, restorative justice, and community-based violence prevention programs
- Separating BPD from functions unrelated to violent crime, such as traffic enforcement, and reassign said responsibilities to departments better suited to meet those functions.
- Establishing a civilian Berkeley Department of Transportation (BerkDOT) tasked with the enforcement of traffic and speeding violations.
- Improving street lighting and, where necessary, expanding the use of security cameras in accordance with our Surveillance Ordinance to promote security and privacy in our public spaces.
- Demilitarizing law enforcement and redistributing resources to human services and crisis intervention programs.
- Defending our Fire Department’s ability to maintain the standard of its service, and ensuring it has the resources to retain Academy graduates and veterans of the force alike. I will fight to
- Improving our emergency medical dispatch service, by upgrading and maintaining our ambulance and engine fleet, and improving Fire Department vehicle access to the hills.
- Expanding community medicine and mobile mental health crisis intervention programs to take some of the strain off of our EMTs.
- Providing fire safety with our Fire Department and community disaster prep leaders.