Policing Is Affected By Where Officers Are From

Police hat
William Anderson
August 13, 2020

When you see “local” police officers, chances are they’re not actually your neighbors. 

The “officer friendly” trope is being dispelled by police brutality and uprisings around the nation. One important aspect in all this is about where police are actually coming from.

Police forces are much whiter than the Black communities they work in, but that’s not the whole problem. They also don’t live where they work. 

In the 75 U.S. cities with the largest police forces, 60% of officers reside outside the city limits. How well can a cop “protect and serve” a community they don’t actually live in or have any connection to?

Black activists have also pointed out that because they don’t live in the cities they work in, cops take the money they make policing us back to the suburbs! The solution is complicated, though.

Hiring Black officers - who kill us frequently too - and community policing are popular reforms that get recycled. But the institution of policing, the court system, and the prisons are still racist. Having more representation within a racist system isn’t a solution.

White supremacist ideas of justice have not served us. We have to completely rethink how we approach the problems our society is facing. Uprisings and protests taking place throughout the nation are challenging us to do just that!

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