One of the tasks put to the previous city council in 2020 was a request from the community to change how public safety was being served. The city manager’s office hired two consulting firms; The Center for Public Safety Management, and Solidarity Consulting. The CPSM offered their report in October of 2020; the Solidarity report is out now.
The initial report by the Center for Public Safety Management offered no forward motion, and seemed to simply endorse the status quo. As a response to resident’s requests that the police budget be dropped by 50%, the October 2020 report offered less than 3% of the budget that could be proposed to be shifted in minor ways. The report also suffered from a lack of data to support its own recommendations.
The second report, from Solidarity Consulting, offers many suggestions why changes need to be made. From the City, ” Since July 2020, Solidarity Consulting has served as one of the technical advisors to the City Manager’s Office to fulfill the City Council’s mandate to review public safety services and present recommendations to the City.
“Specifically, the consultant was tasked with providing a racial equity and social justice level of review at each phase of the process, facilitate the community engagement process involving a wide array of stakeholders, and make recommendations to address equity and social justice issues related to public safety.”
In stark contrast to the CPSM, Solidarity notes that “Racism is endemic, not aberrational.” While the defenders of the status quo often cite the “one bad apple” idea – that it is simply a lone officer behaving in a dangerous or intimidating manner towards a person of color – the proven fact is that the culture of policing itself is inherently discriminatory.
Since the CPSM report dropped in October, Culver City has been through a local election that was fraught with ugly media attacks on both candidates and residents, paid for the the Culver City Police Officer’s Association, as well as the country suffering an attempted coup by rioters who used their ‘Blue Lives Matter’ flags to beat an officer of the Capitol Police to death.
Public Safety is an urgent issue.
The City Council will be discussing the Public Safety Review and reviewing the reports by both Center for Public Safety Management (CPSM) and Solidarity Consulting at the January 25, 2021 City Council Meeting.
To read the full report, go to https://www.culvercity.org/files/assets/public/documents/city-manager/public-safety-review/culver-city-review-of-public-safety-services.pdf
To read Culver City Crossroads reportage on the CPSM report, go to https://culvercitycrossroads.com/2020/10/12/city-manager-task-force-report-on-public-safety-proposes-few-cosmetic-changes-miniscule-budget-effect/