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Leftist ‘Reimagined’ Policing Programs Raise Red Flags

Leftist ‘Reimagined’ Policing Programs Raise Red Flags

So, in effect, un-uniformed government contractors will be taking away non-violent individuals in unmarked vehicles. 

Nearly a decade after creating the Black Lives Matter organization, and after more than a year since the onset of the COVID lockdowns, and the subsequent wave of riots that swept the nation, some American municipalities are transitioning away from traditional policing. For this and other related reasons, the United States is now in the midst of a crime wave.

However, rising criminality is not the only consequence of the social shift and perhaps not the most dangerous one. Another new phenomenon is the increased involvement of social workers in on-the-street policing. This development is worth watching.  

For instance, the City Council of Alameda, CA, eager to ‘reimagine’ policing, voted for a pilot program aimed at unconventionally addressing non-violent mental health emergencies: 

 An un-uniformed firefighter paramedic and EMT would respond to the call in an unmarked car. Later, a mental health or social worker would help the person with follow-up services.

‘They will not be showing up in firefighter gear, there are no lights. The whole idea is to de-escalate,” said Alameda Councilmember John Knox White, who voted in favor of the pilot.

The contractor in question, the San Francisco-based Felton Institute, reassured the City Council that its employees had de-escalation training and other police techniques, including administering 5150 holds—putting individuals in a state of a mental health emergency under a 72-hour involuntary hold. So, in effect, un-uniformed government contractors will be taking away non-violent individuals in unmarked vehicles. 

Similar programs are already in place in San Francisco and several other cities in the Bay Area. However, while employing plain-clothed professionals and unmarked vehicles, these programs are run through police and fire departments.  

This emergent policing by social worker reality raises some questions. From the mental health point of view, is it beneficial for an emotionally vulnerable individual to know that he can be taken away in any car? Would it not increase anxiety and paranoia? Felton Institute boasts hiring people with “lived experience” of addiction and homelessness.  No doubt, the company can go beyond “lived experience” and cite longitudinal studies that confirm the effectiveness of this practice.

From the civil libertarian point of view, if the state deprives an individual of liberty, especially if this is a non-violent individual, shouldn’t the people and organizations involved in this act be identified and identifiable? If the goal of police abolitionists is to hold those in power accountable, shouldn’t the agents of the state be marked as such? And if they are taking away individuals who cannot give consent, shouldn’t the public know that the state is detaining the individual?

I realize that deinstitutionalization has been a disaster for our country and want to see conservatorship expanded. I also want clear and fair rules for handling mental health episodes. Considering that mental illness can be politicized (Soviet punitive psychiatry is probably the best example), I am deeply concerned that, intentionally or not, the City of Alameda might be running a pilot program for a massive repression apparatus.  


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Subotai Bahadur | July 10, 2021 at 6:27 pm

1) We know that it will not work, if only because a certain fraction of the mentally ill will respond violently. None police will not be able to respond appropriately. It is going to get messy.

2) In the absence of uniforms, of some kind, so that they can be recognized as agents of the State and possessing some authority leaves it up in the air as to who has legal power to restrain or “hold” somebody with risks of imposters.

3) No cop should be involved if at all possible, because no matter what they are going to be the scapegoat for anything and everything.

Subotai Bahadur

    And we know that all those years of telling eastern Europeans and others “Its ok. You can trust police here. It is not like the secret police in your home country.” that we can no longer say that. Our secret police are being created by federal and state governments.

So a deranged paranoid, seeing an unmarked car pull up and two plainclothed individuals getting out, will have reason to assume they’re cop-equivalents and blow away a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to McGehee. | July 10, 2021 at 6:52 pm

    Its not just deranged paranoid people. I get some unmarked car running a flashing light in my mirror I AM NOT STOPPING. PERIOD. I will turn on my flashers and drive at a safe speed to a well-lit place with people around.

    Anyone can buy a flasher, anyone can buy a dark Explorer, Durango, Impala, or an old Crown Vic.

    The above is especially true if I can see into their vehicle and I see “equity”.

      This was my thought, as well. There is no way I am stopping for an unmarked car with un-uniformed persons in it. Ever.

      Also, this is ripe for abuse; there is a reason LEO’s wear uniforms, carry badges, drive in marked cars . . . random people can’t claim to be LEO’s and tote off unsuspecting citizens in unmarked cars. The undercover LEO will never show up at a Normie’s house, they do undercover work with real criminals, and non-uniformed detective types show up after the crime, not while it’s in progress. This is going to get a lot of people killed.

      Not only won’t the people involved know these are supposed “new” police/social workers, but they’ll know they are unarmed and sitting ducks. Heading out to mental health issue cases (which they know are that, how? And doesn’t that increase the potential danger of the situation, not decrease it?).

      I wouldn’t take this job for a million dollars a minute. No way, no how.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | July 11, 2021 at 5:46 am

      Adding to the above, I’d call 911 and report “this car following me. It has a portable flashing light and I don’t think these two are law enforcement. I think they want to carjacking me. HELP!”

      At best I’ll be told they are legitimate, at worst cops will get in a gun battle with cops.

      This is why detectives and real field agents of the FBI will call for a marked unit to make the stop..

    Another potential “unintended consequence.”

Society figured out long ago that those representing a government agency should be easily identifiable. So now we have those who say it’s suddenly no longer true because, well, it’s us and we’re so important that we can do things differently and be successful. Right.

“a massive repression apparatus.”

Exactly. This is yet another way to get information out of you.

I don’t trust this at all. I also no longer trust social workers, aka socialist workers.

What happens when you plead the Fifth with these people?

Send in the social workers until they get hurt and refuse to go. Just a prediction and not a job I would do.

    Dathurtz in reply to r2468. | July 10, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    I have been trained three times in how to physically restrain someone without hurting them. The first two times was literally a 30 minute seminar and 10 minutes of practicing a few holds. I was then expected to properly restrain violent students who were often larger than me without hurting them.

    The third time I was at my current school and he paid for the men at school to have training every 2 weeks for a year. I am fairly competent, now.

    Even so it is terrifying to have to restrain high school students, especially if I am alone. Not that they will hurt me, bit that I will screw up and they will get hurt and I will lose my career. I have probably had more training than these social workers and I am a fairly large, fairly fit male. I would NEVER take a job where I had to do that every day. The liability huge.

    They’re socialist workers, not social workers.

So in Alameda, contractor paramedic and EMTs are going to be responding to so-called non-violent mental health emergencies. And even though they are acting as agents of the city, they are not government officials, but will have the ability to involuntarily commit people to mental hospitals, effectively grabbing them off the streets and taking them away. The only place social workers should be replacing cops is when there is a call for a so-called “welfare check” for an elderly person who hasn’t been heard from in awhile.

Realizing there are supposedly criteria for the 5150 holds, what’s to keep these “contractors” from committing people for not having their minds right politically, or because they refuse to take part in an experimental medical trial? And when these “contractors” start getting injured, are they then going to have to dispatch uniformed police officers to accompany them and keep them safe? How much is it going to cost the city when citizens start suing the city and the contractors for locking them up without any reason.

Or is the whole thing little more than a means to get people accustomed to seeing their neighbors taken away by non-uniformed people in unmarked cars?

Reimagining won’t work. Just conducted a scientific test. Reimagined the world without Democrats.

They’re still here.

Why does the left say “re-imagine the police”?

Can’t re-imagine something we didn’t imagine in the first

Imagine – mental concept of something that does not exist.

Last I check, police looked a bit real to me.

My town has more than its fair share of people with mental issues.. there’s something about it they say “calls” them here. We have one gentleman in particular who is paranoid schizophrenic and has imaginary (to us) friends he talks to all day long. He’s very rarely violent but when a business owner wants to get rid of him, they call the cops. He recognizes them, recognizes the uniform. If someone in street clothes showed up and tried to get him in their car, things wouldn’t work out well.

chrisboltssr | July 10, 2021 at 10:38 pm

“I realize that deinstitutionalization has been a disaster for our country and want to see conservatorship expanded.”

Considering what how conservatorship has ruined Britney Spears’ life I don’t think that will be a good idea either. The most logical solution is to bring back insane asylums.

And this program is destined to fail and it is going to get a lot of people killed.

    venril in reply to chrisboltssr. | July 11, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    “Comrade, I see that you made poor decisions when you last voted for a reactionary (conservative) candidate. A conservator from the Peoples Local Watch will be assigned to assist you in making future life choices.”

I’ve got a sawbuck that says the “unarmed” contractors hired by Alameda will soon demand to be armed themselves or at least accompanied by armed escorts.

Old Navy Doc | July 11, 2021 at 8:42 am

It sounds like these bureaucrats got ahold of the KGD playbook. They probably plan to pretend to be part of the VDK (Vaccination Door Knockers) to deceive citizens into opening their doors.

There’s a tendency on the left to think that people are inherently great and when they do not so great things it’s only because of corrupt social institutions. Hence the left observes that police officers sometimes abuse their power and concludes that our law enforcement institutions are systemically racist and must be dismantled. The left thinks letting them be in charge will cure the problem of people in positions of authority abusing their power.

“including administering 5150 holds”

Now I know why they’re doing what they’re doing. A 5150 hold triggers an automatic five year state ban on owning, possessing or attempting to purchase a gun. Gun control by the back door.

It’s especially bad in combination with “red flag” laws, and is ripe for abuse. Tack on some more legal disabilities to a 5150, then slap 5150 holds on people whose politics you don’t like (or who you plain don’t like, I can see vindictive wives using it). Standard legal protections for police interactions don’t apply.

These proposals are farcical, but, they aren’t funny. Innocent people are going to die, predictably, if this Dhimmi-crat idiocy is implemented.

ccscientist | July 12, 2021 at 6:03 pm

Even detectives should wear a uniform.