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Rabbi's Week In Review - 8/23/2022

08/23/2022 01:04:58 PM

Aug23

Kansas City is one of the only major cities in the country without local control of its police department. Large swaths of the Kansas City community have persistently gone unrepresented on the Board of Police Commissioners, made up of our mayor and four members appointed by Missouri’s governor. There has been little to no representation east of Troost and overrepresentation from the Waldo, Brookside and Plaza neighborhoods.

Advocating for local control is not anti-police. I have never advocated for defunding the police, a job that is difficult and dangerous. I do believe that local control, and the accountability that would come with it, would create greater trust between our police and the neighborhoods they serve. With greater trust, the community and the police could become partners in fighting crime, rather than seeing each other as adversaries and not to be trusted.

Through my work with MORE2 (Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity), I have been involved with this issue for some time. (I’m a past co-chair of the organization’s Criminal Justice Task Force.) This past Sunday, I attended a presentation by Cautia Wadood, a community organizer with MORE2, that addressed upcoming work by the organization toward obtaining local control for the KCPD. Local control is not a panacea for complete healing in the relationship between our police and Kansas City’s Black community, but it would be an important step forward.

You can sign up to support local control here: MORE2.org/local-control. If you have questions or if you want to be involved with this important work, contact me at rabbidoug@kolamikc.org.

 

Wed, October 5 2022 10 Tishrei 5783