DAVIS (CBS13) — The city of Davis is considering a first-of-its-kind plan to remove the name “police” from the Davis Police Department.
Davis councilmember Will Arnold is proposing replacing the name “Police Department” with “Community Safety Department,” as part of the city’s efforts for police reform.
“It sends a signal that we’re serious,” Councilmember Arnold said. “A name change alone won’t solve this complex issue, but it’s a step towards the fundamental reforms our community wants.”
The title “police officer” might also go away in Davis, to be replaced by some other law enforcement descriptor.
“And we’re going to take questions like that very seriously,” Arnold said.
Arnold’s proposal comes in response to George Floyd protests in Davis. A public memorial is up in Davis’ Central Park.
Arnold calls the name change a first step towards reimagined public safety. And a future where armed law enforcement officers are not dispatched to as many calls.
“Police are asked to do too much, and to be all things to all people,” Arnold said.
A spokesperson for the Davis Police Department declined to comment on the proposal. It comes only a-year-and-half after Davis police officer Natalie Corona was shot and killed by a gunman who ambushed her as she responded to a traffic collision.
“So we’ve seen tragedy here,” Arnold said. “I don’t want to discount that in any way.”
Arnold has already asked Davis city staff to begin researching his proposal. He expects to present it to the full council within weeks.