Reimagining Public Safety with Prof. Alex Vitale, Rob Thomas, and grits

Get greater clarity on reimagining public safety by watching this informative and motivating conversation between Professor Alex Vitale and RJC organizers Rob Thomas and grits:  “Research-Based Perspectives on Police Reform vs. Defunding vs. Abolition of Police,”

Rob and grits provided storytelling and wisdom, and Professor Vitale offered his research and knowledge. This cultivated a valuable dialogue about evidence-based alternatives to policing.  We explored concrete, practical steps that can lead to greater community well-being in the country and especially in the Asheville-Buncombe community.

Topics discussed included public safety, the efficacy of our current policing system, divestment from the police, investment in Black and Brown communities, “defund the police” slogans, the issues of violent crime and mental health services, and even abolition. 

Whatever your position on these topics, if you’re looking for clarity and inspiration around reimagining public safety, this webinar delves into the “defund the police” movement and its relationship to the long struggle for racial and economic justice.

Watch our 16-minute compilation of the webinar highlights below as an important step toward envisioning a world where we care for each other to meet public health and safety needs. With your support, RJC will continue to advocate, referencing these tangible ideas for what is possible and necessary to reimagine public safety here. 

View the full, 2-hour video here 

Alex S. Vitale is Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College and a Visiting Professor at London South Bank University. He has spent the last 30 years writing about policing and consults to both police departments and human rights organizations internationally. Prof. Vitale is the author of City of Disorder: How the Quality of Life Campaign Transformed New York Politics and The End of Policing.

His academic writings on policing have appeared in Policing and Society, Police Practice and Research, Mobilization, and Contemporary Sociology. He is also a frequent essayist, whose writings have been published in The NY Times, Washington Post and The Guardian.

More info on Divest/Invest from RJC: Divestment from the Police Department is possible

Three Organizations advising local governments on policy: Policy Link, Justice Hub, Justice Collaborative

This event was sponsored by the Racial Justice Coalition, the Elder Vigil Group, and the Ethical Humanist Society of Asheville on January 14th, 2021.