Seattle’s Sentinels


The Washington Post reports on how a police-free zone in Seattle has become a microcosm for public safety without the cops. 

The police-free zone formed earlier this month when, in response to protests, law enforcement vacated an area of the city and never returned. In the time since, a public safety force made up of protesters calling themselves “sentinels” has been patrolling the area, albeit in a very different fashion than the cops might. They have peacefully defused altercations, prevented vandals from breaking windows, picked up trash following chaotic incidents and engaged with people needing mental health assistance. At one point, one of them engaged a man throwing apples at protesters; the man punched the sentinel, who did not retaliate. Eventually, the man calmed down and walked away.

The idea of humanizing policing has gained traction in recent days — Reasons to be Cheerful has written about Camden reconstituting its police force under a community public-safety model. “These alternatives that don’t involve forcing someone to the ground and immediately handcuffing them work and provide for a much safer community in general,” one Seattle sentinel told the Post.

Read more at the Washington Post

Via The Fixer

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