Berkeley Bans Police-Conducted Traffic Stops, Will Send in Unarmed Civilians

Posted: Jul 15, 2020 6:35 PM
Berkeley Bans Police-Conducted Traffic Stops, Will Send in Unarmed Civilians

Source: AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Berkeley, California has approved a plan that prohibits police officers from conducting traffics stops. The plan, proposed by the mayor and approved in a virtual city council meeting early Wednesday morning, is just one part of a major "defund the police" overhaul planned by the city, Fox News reported. 

The move to separate traffic enforcement from police work is believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S, according to the report. Instead of having trained officers conducting traffic stops, the new policy will send in unarmed civilian city workers to deal with traffic offenders.

Police unions for Los Angeles, San Jose and San Francisco said in a joint statement that serious violations –such as speeding, reckless driving, and driving under the influence – are dangerous offenses and confronting violators can be dangerous work best handled by sworn officers. 

"We do not believe that the public wants lax enforcement of those incidents by non-sworn individuals," the unions said, as reported by Fox News. "Traffic stops are some of the most dangerous actions police officers take. What happens when the felon with an illegal gun gets pulled over by the parking police? Nothing good, we’re sure of that."

The call to "defund the police" is a mantra within the Democratic Party that has been implemented in various degrees in Democratic-run cities throughout the U.S. 

The Minnesota City Council voted to defund and dismantle the city's police department. Other city councils – in places like Baltimore, Portland, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Hartford – have also cut funding to police following violent riots across the country. Many other Democratic-run cities are also considering proposals to defund their police departments or institute reforms that would change the role of law enforcement in their communities.