Activism Future Building

Building a Safe Community

Replied to What If We Just Stopped Calling the Cops? (

For decades, the solution to Black Americans’ distrust of cops has often been to not call them. Now white people are catching on too.

Police don’t keep the community safe. I think learning to trust each other and also live and let live without butting in and trying to control how others do things is how you get safety. Learning to value each other and consider others’ needs respectfully. Most of the policing alternatives I see brought up are about mental health and social workers but I also think there’s work to be done by the community and infrastructure to be built that will help us build safer cities.

Safer roads:

  • Patrol only for DUIs
  • Build safer roads designed for slower speeds and higher visibility
  • Retrofit roads for slower speeds
  • Lower the speed limit on residential streets and arterials
  • Install more speed and red light cameras
  • Reset community standards around speeding
  • Connect drivers and bikers to build friendships
  • Work with bars for tighter standards around serving drunk people
  • Offer free/cheap community rides home on weekend evenings

Foster cross-cultural friendships:

  • Speed friending events
  • Cross cultural cooking nights / dinner parties with small groups
  • Language exchange partnerships – I help you practice English, you help me practice Spanish / other languages
  • Open coffee meetups specifically designed to meet people who are different and find common ground
  • Host community events at multifamily properties

There’s a place for having specific conversations about racism, which is where my city has focused, but I think it’s almost more important to get to know each other as people. Instead of calling the cops on unattended kids, ask them if they need help. Instead of blasting through town, leave five minutes extra so you don’t need to speed.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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