Thousands of people and hundreds of organizations have signed petitions to defund UWPD and invest in Black life at the University of Washington. In response, President Cauce has promised to stop hiring police officers with disciplinary records and reduce armed patrols by 20%. This is a step in the right direction, but there is a lot more we need to do!
UW can take the following actions today to demonstrate that we are committed to being on the right side of history in moving away from policing:
- Disarm UWPD. Over 90% of UWPD patrols are responding to after-the-fact bicycle thefts. If Seattle Police Department can already police our campus community, UWPD is really just double-policing.
- Defund UWPD’s biennium budget by at least $6 million and invest in meeting student demands to fund culturally competent mental health programs, RSO support, and recruitment/retention of Black students, staff and faculty.
- Withdraw UWPD from the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). This is urgent as the JTTF treats civil rights activists aligned with the Movement 4 Black Lives as terrorist threats.
- Prohibit UWPD from spying on students, staff and faculty — especially those who are organizing for labor rights and racial justice.
- Commit to moving all campus dispatchers out of UWPD and into SafeCampus. This will require time and funding, but the administration can publicly commit to this institutional change today by 2022.
- Take down the George Washington statue. UW can return the statue to its original benefactors, the Rainier Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).