TUCSON, Ariz. — TPD Assistant Chief Kevin Hall says he thinks "defunding police" should mean fundamental changes in law enforcement.
"When they're talking about defunding the police in my mind they're talking about deconstructing the current structure and building something a little bit more in line with what contemporary America wants their police to look like," Hall said.
Former TPD Chief, Roberto Villasenor, offered his own opinion of how to define "defunding police."
"Things that help address without involving the police that's what my understanding of any type of defunding program should look at," Villasenor said.
Villasenor was on a task force started by President Obama called "21st Century Policing" which explored police reform.
"These programs take time to develop and initiate and I don't want to see any knee-jerk reaction that takes funding away from police departments," Villasenor said.
He says any approach to reforming law enforcement should explore bringing on new positions trained and equipped to handle tasks police officers shouldn't have to handle.
"I don't think that you would get much argument from police if you're taking away tasks that they normally weren't responding to 20 or 30 years ago," Villasenor said.
He says that's a vital first step toward defining what a police officer's actual role is in communities around the country.
"They can't all be police I mean we have to re-imagine what we think of as first responders in public safety," Villasenor said.
As advice to police with demands for reform in law enforcement, Villasenor offers this:
"Get past the emotion but let's not lose the enthusiasm let's continue to work towards this but try and get past the anger try and get past the defensiveness."