Defunding the police involves a gradual reallocation of funds from policing and surveillance into programs that proactively improve public safety— such as education, transportation, healthcare, mental health, and food security. The City of Atlanta FY21 budget allocated $218 million to the Atlanta Police Department, a 6% increase over the previous year. Our tax dollars are better spent towards eliminating the conditions that drive people to commit crimes, rather than responding to crimes after the fact.
Defunding (and eventually abolishing) the police requires a reimagining of what public safety looks like. How can we, as a community, tackle problems at the source? How can we provide people with resources they lack? How can we address harm in a way that doesn’t resort to punishment and incarceration -- but instead, offers victims a pathway to healing, and perpetrators a pathway to accountability and growth?