Since the George Floyd protests began, defunding the police has become a hot button topic. But what does it really mean?

It’s no secret that systemic racism and police brutality go hand in hand, and law enforcement across the United States has needed a change for some time. The police have been militarized since the early 2000s, with billions of dollars going toward the purchase of military gear for local cops.

Some believe that the money could go toward services to better serve the community, which will help cut down on crime, but others think there’s no turning back, and the cops need all the help they can get.

Twitterer Jamie Ford has explained why he thinks this is such a controversy. He notes that it has happened before and we’re still reaping the benefits. Let’s go back to the 1970s.

Ambulance services, he explains, were once run by reluctant police and firefighters.

This didn’t serve communities properly—particularly minority communities.

In 1967, Pittsburgh residents had had enough and approached someone in the medical community for help.

They found a doctor who trained residents on CPR and other life-saving measures.

That was when the first independent ambulance service in the U.S. began.

The service worked so well that it was called into other neighborhoods.

Local police and fire departments saw this and put money into training for proper EMTs.

When you hear about defunding the police, that doesn’t mean not having police; it means using some of that money to support the community in innovative and far-reaching ways.

How do you think your community could be better served by local government? Do you understand what people think “defund” the police mean now?

Let us know in the comments below!