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Police Reforms Get Nod in Several Cities

As the debate over “defunding” police continued to arouse controversy, voters in several cities have approved major steps towards reform of policing.

In San Francisco, voters approved two propositions for reform. Proposition E and Proposition D would remove, respectively, a minimum police staff requirement established in 1994 to staff 1,971 “full duty sworn officers,” and created a new oversight board for the sheriff’s department to encourage more investigation of in-house deaths and complaints.

Both passed with more than 65 percent of the vote.

Los Angeles voters appear to have approved a “smart public safety” measure to reallocate at least “10 percent of the county’s general funds toward social programs, such as mental health services and job training, in an effort to address sweeping racial injustice.”

In Philadelphia, voters appeared poised to approve Question 1,  which  restricts the use of the “stop and frisk” policy, calling on the Police Department to eliminate the practice of unconstitutional stop and frisk, consistent with judicial precedent.”

Measure 26-217 in Portland to  create a new independent police oversight board with members approved by City Council passed with over 80 percent approval. Under the measure, the board would be able to independently review the police department and have the power to fire or discipline officers that may have broken the rules.

Issue 2 in Akron, Ohio, requiring  the release of police body and dashboard footage in cases where police force results in death or serious injury,” passed with 90 percent of the vote.