Professor Akwasi Owusu-Bempah recently discussed the role of police on CBC Radio One. Professor Owuwu-Bempah believes that Canadians need to rethink the role of police and would like to see a detasking of police duties. There needs to be a full understanding of what Toronto police do on a daily basis and the resources required to do these tasks. From this better understanding of the current role of police it can then be determined what tasks should be removed or adjusted. In many instances, some of police duties are better suited for other agencies that have the appropriate training. Professor Owusu-Bempah suggests first responders as an example of a more appropriate role to adequately deal with mental health crisis as the primary role and police would provide a secondary role as support in those instances.
Professor Akwasi Owusu-Bempah is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, with teaching responsibilities at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) campus. His research focuses on the intersection of race, policing, and social justice. Professor Owusu-Bempah frequently provides commentary to public and governmental agencies, community organizations, and media outlets regarding topics of race, policing, and social justice.
You can listen to the full CBC Radio One discussion here.