New Haven Police Chief Says Healthy Communities Don't Need Police
The police chief of New Haven, Connecticut, says communities should be strong and secure enough to function without the presence of law enforcement.
New Haven Police Chief Otoniel Reyes says healthy communities don’t need the police.
He says a large police presence in communities that already face systemic challenges does more harm than good.
“Do we need to hire good cops? Of course we do. Do we need to make sure that we have good community-police relations? Of course we do. But to a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When you put law enforcement out there to handle community issues, they see drug issues and they address it. But in the same breath we say we don’t want our kids going to jail for low-level drug offenses.”
Reyes made his comments during a virtual forum with other local leaders on how to improve relations between communities and police in the New Haven area.
The forum is in response to nationwide Black Lives Matter protests that call for defunding the police in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.