Science fiction cartoonist Ezra Claytan Daniels imagines departments that will replace police in the not-too-distant future.
In 2023, Los Angeles finally follows the precedent set by Minneapolis and several other American cities and dismantles the LAPD. In addition to an initiative that houses every homeless resident in the city (obliterating complaint numbers across the board), several new agencies are formed with the LAPD’s forfeited budget.
The Mental Health Department
MHD field officers are unarmed first responders trained in mental health, psychiatry, de-escalation, and basic emergency medical care. A dedicated psychiatric staff provides both short and long-term mental health care in repurposed police precincts throughout the city. Incidents of death by official intervention and suicide drop considerably.
The Los Angeles Department of Food Security
One of several new agencies formed to support community needs, the Los Angeles Department of Food Security maintains a 100 acre farm within LA city limits. Residents enjoy agricultural training in exchange for volunteer hours. Fresh produce and premade meals are provided free of charge to all residents in need. Petty theft and vagrancy plummets. K-12 student performance in low-income neighborhoods skyrockets.
The Department of Crime Deduction
People keep asking who’ll solve crimes if police are defunded. These people have obviously never looked at false confession numbers, cold case statistics, or ever watched, read, or listened to any true crime stories. The Department of Crime Deduction exposes the folly of promoting detectives exclusively from the ranks of patrol police. With a diversely skilled roster of detectives who excel in creative thinking and problem solving, clearance rates grow dramatically, and cold case numbers are steadily eroded.
The Climate Mitigation Department
One of the most important areas of law enforcement will be the need to monitor both individual and industrial resource use and pollution, working with violators to get them compliant. The CMD also performs as climate catastrophe first responders and provides free climate mitigation training. The CMD expands during climate events and recovery, offering extensive paid work for both skilled and unskilled workers.
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