Transforming Public Safety and Urban Infrastructure to Mitigate Climate and Public Health Disasters

As the United States and countries around the world move through a summer of social distancing and civil unrest in the wake of a global pandemic and the death of George Floyd and other Black women and men that have fallen at the hands of police violence, activists have been calling for the “defunding of the police.” According to a New York Times opinion editorial written by organizer Mariame Kaba, the catchphrase quite literally means “abolish the police.” From there, others have distorted “abolish the police” to mean the abolishment of funding toward public safety altogether. However, it would be shortsighted to only view public safety through the lens of policing. I would argue that public safety means so much more than policing. In fact, climate and public health disasters are existential threats to public safety that policing can’t protect us from either way. Read more about JPB Fellow Marccus D. Hendricks Research.