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Amid calls to defund police, Albuquerque creates an alternative department

Sarah Best

24th June 2020

During the recent protests in the USA, one call of action by the protestors has been to 'defund the police.'

This comes after weeks of protests that were sparked by the death of George Floyd. Mayor Tim Keller (Albuquerque in the state of New Mexico, USA) announced last week there would be formation of a new public safety department. The aim of this department would be help respond to 911 calls "related to inebriation, homelessness, addiction and mental health, the new division will deploy unarmed personnel made up of social workers, housing and homelessness specialists, and violence prevention coordinators."

The call for 'defund the police' raises significant sociological questions that relate to a number of areas, including the Crime and Deviance unit and Theory and Methods. What is the role and responsibility of the police? If the police did not exist, what would replace them? (The article would be useful here). Other concepts such socialisation (secondary) and anomie (Durkheim) may be useful to discuss with students also.

Sarah Best

Sarah is a passionate full-time Head of Sociology and Psychology and has worked in a variety in schools in the UK, and she is currently working in a British international school. She is keen to develop and boost the profile of both subjects.

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