ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Racism and police brutality have been the most publicized messages of the nationwide protests.
Some are now shifting to a call for defunding police departments. This includes Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley Executive Director Hasshan Batts.
"It's really about funding public safety. This isn't a zero-sum game. It isn't either police or public safety funding," Batts said.
What Batts says it's about is better funding communities of color, giving those in them a better sense of belonging, responsibility and decision-making.
Batts isn't saying take all police off the streets but is saying not all are needed.
"I believe communities have the power to keep themselves safe," he said.
Allentown City Councilman and former police Captain Daryl Hendricks disagrees, saying officers are asked to wear many hats. Hats not everyone comes armed with.
"A social worker is not going to come to the scene of a barricaded gunman," Hendricks said.
Hendricks points to the recent peaceful protests in Allentown as an example of how community policing is working to bridge the gap.
However Batts says there is still a big divide but is confident change will happen with the younger generation taking charge.
Batts would like the city to allocate 1% of its budget to more community programs. Hendricks say that's not likely at the moment as the city is facing a $9 million budget hole.