Santa Cruz Community Safety Workgroup

A structured workshop to plan ways to keep our communities safe at all levels. Here are just some of the challenges we are attempting to tackle: accountability, education and public perception, community crisis response, cops and alternatives,defense of communities, domestic & sexual violence, isolation and alienation, mutual support and solidarity, and making the police obsolete.

Blue light house. Photo by Kevin A Slotemaker
Blue light house. Photo by Kevin A Slotemaker

“Without police, wouldn’t there be chaos?” and “What about the bad people?” We get asked these legitimate questions all the time. It’s time we began to wrestle with some possible answers. This workgroup is an attempt to put together a replicable process for communities to build security and safety beyond the societally proscribed police state and institutional apparatus.

We share the premise that everyone desires safety and security (even if we disagree about strategy and threats to it):  We want to work collaboratively. We are looking for solutions outside of institutional ones. We solve problems ourselves. We enable people and communities to provide for their own safety. We are committed to transparency. We document everything we do so others may learn from our process and replicate our work. We are here to listen to each other. We give each other space to talk and participate. We are here to act, not just talk. We are committed to this effort. What we are wanting is possible and desirable.

Working in small groups focused on strategy and action, we attempted to make incremental efforts toward having safer communities.

  • New Accountability Process
  • Crisis Response Team
  • Education and Public Perception
  • Defense of Communities – legal, physical, etc
  • Community and Individual Health
  • Community Connectedness
  • Anti-Police – police accountability, know your rights, copwatch
  • Alternatives to Violence
  • Physical Spaces – availability of public, private, and autonomous spaces
  • Food Security

The Community Safety Workgroup was active from 2010 to 2012 and spawned many individual efforts, including the Blue Light Safety Project.

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