Voters pick police oversight over structural change


(NewsNation Now) — Voters across the country picked police oversight rather than structural change at the ballot box this week.

Austin, Texas, Albany, New York, Denver, Minneapolis and Cleveland all had police reform measures on the ballot. In Albany and Cleveland, voters chose to make changes to police oversight groups to increase authority.

In Austin, Texas, a measure to set specific demographics and training measures failed. But the city did pass a measure earlier this year establishing a police oversight director. Denver’s vote has not been certified.

This follows trends seen in earlier 2021 ballot measures where more significant structural change lost at the polls.

In Minneapolis, voters rejected a proposal to replace the city’s police department with a new Department of Public Safety, an idea that supporters had hoped would bring radical change to policing in the city where George Floyd’s death under an officer’s knee brought calls for racial justice.

You can view live election results from races across the nation here.

Oak Park, Illinois, San Antonio and Detroit all looked at making more significant structural changes to their law enforcement. All measures lost at the ballot box.

Back in 2020, there was more momentum behind the idea of structurally changing police forces as seen in key votes among residents of Los Angeles, San Francisco and King County, Washington.

According to Ballotpedia, an online elections tracker, there were 17 successful ballot measures last year that focused on, among other things, establishing oversight boards or better training of officers in use of force situations.

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More than 160 municipalities across the country have created some type of oversight board for police, according to the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement

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