Mayor Mike Elliott of Brooklyn, Minn., has proposed creating a department of unarmed medical and mental health professionals to respond to “all incidents where a city resident is primarily experiencing a medical, mental health, disability-related, or other behavioral or social need, reports The Appeal. At the same time he proposes to curtail the traffic enforcement duties of police and use unarmed civilians to monitor most violations.
The proposal, called “The Daunte Wright and Kobe Dimock-Heisler Community Safety and Violence Prevention Resolution” comes a month after the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, who was pulled over for a minor traffic offense. Until the measure creating a so-called Community Response Department is fully in place, the city manager will be directed to implement a policy that requires officers to issue citations only, and prohibits police officers from arresting or conducting consent searches of people or vehicles for any nonmoving traffic infraction, nonfelony offenses, or nonfelony warrants. “I think it’s a right step forward,” said Columbia Law School professor Sarah Seo, author of the book Policing the Open Road: How Cars Transformed American Freedom. “I think it could do more in terms of moving violations.”