San Francisco police to stop responding to non-criminal calls

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – FEBRUARY 27: San Francisco police cars sit parked in front of the Hall of Justice on February 27, 2014 in San Francisco, California. A federal grand jury has indicted five San Francisco police officers and one former officer in two cases involving drug and computer thefts from suspects and the theft of money and gift cards from suspects. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) — San Francisco police will stop responding to neighbor disputes, reports on homeless people, school discipline interventions and other non-criminal activities as part of a police reform plan the mayor announced Thursday.

Mayor London Breed said in a news release that on calls that don’t involve a threat to public safety, police would be replaced by trained, unarmed professionals to limit unnecessary confrontation between the police department and the community.

“We know that a lack of equity in our society overall leads to a lot of the problems that police are being asked to solve,” she said in the release. “We are going to keep going with these additional reforms and continuing to find ways to reinvest in communities that have historically been underserved and harmed by systemic racism.”

Breed’s said as part of police reforms, the city will also strengthen accountability policies, ban the use of military-grade weapons and divert funding to the African-American community.

The city will develop its plan over the next year and follow models like the Cahoots program in Eugene, Ore., Breed said. That community-based crisis program employs social workers and mental health workers to respond to disturbances where crimes are not being committed.

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