Defunding the Police? What Next.

Original Air Date: Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020

The death of George Floyd was a flashpoint moment that created a wave of protests and calls for change to end structural racism in Canada and the U.S. Several cities and jurisdictions in the U.S. have already defunded their police forces and are attempting to create new approaches to community policing.

This panel brings together experts from the faculties of law and social work to consider what a new approach to policing might look like, and how a reimagined police force could lead to better outcomes and help to end systemic racism in the justice system. 

Brought to you by the Faculty of Law and Faculty of Social Work.

Meet the Speakers

Professor, Faculty of Law

Lisa Silver is a proud Calgarian, lawyer, educator, and avid blogger. She holds a B.A. in Economics (UWO, 1984), LL.B. (Osgoode, 1987), and LL.M. (Calgary, 2001). She is a member of the Bars of Ontario (1989) and Alberta (1998).  
As a criminal lawyer, Lisa has appeared in all levels of Court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Presently, Lisa is an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Law, where she teaches criminal law, evidence and is the course director for the 3L advocacy program. She writes and researches in an extensive range of topics including sentencing, judicial decision-making and the admissibility of expert and digital evidence. She is the author of the forthcoming Criminal Law Defences, 5th Edition with Pat Knoll, QC. Lisa maintains her own award-winning law blog at and regularly contributes to the Faculty’s ABlawg website.  


She was awarded the Faculty of Law’s Howard Tidswell Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence in 2016-2017. Her educational interests go beyond the classroom through her involvement in judicial education. Lisa sits on many committees and is currently on the Board of Calgary Legal Guidance. Lisa served on the Calgary Police Commission from 2012 to 2018 most recently as Vice Chair. 

Professor, Faculty of Social Work

Prior to getting graduate degrees in social work, Dr. Este obtained a MA in African Canadian and African American History from the University of Waterloo studying with one of Canada’s leading Black Canadian historians, Dr. James Walker. During his career, Dr. Este has contributed publications to the discipline of African (Black) Canadian history, Canadian social welfare history and contemporary issues confronting the African diaspora in Canada.  He also co-produced the documentary We are the Roots: Black Settlers and their Experiences of Discrimination on the Canadian Prairies which received the 2018 Governor General Award for History - Community Programming.   

Dr. Este has worked with numerous organizations including The Association of Black Social Workers (Nova Scotia), the Ontario Black History Society, the Race Relations Foundation of Canada, and the Black Canadian Studies Association.  He has also helped to develop the Federation of Black Canadians, and is a co-editor of  Africentric Social Work: Best Practice in Working with African Communities in the Diaspora,  that will be published in 2021. 

Associate Professor, Faculty of Social Work 
Dr. Uwibereyeho King’s research interests include social processes of healing, forgiveness and reconciliation, refugee issues, cross-cultural mental health interventions, and indigenous knowledges. She has published on truth commissions, grassroots intergroup dialogue, transnational research, women’s rights, and North-South partnerships in social work education. As an immigrant Black woman, she is confronted with anti-Black racism, a subject she has embraced and integrated in her day-to-day life and scholarly activities. She is currently completing a research project focusing on the mental health equity of Black Canadians. Her community engagement has included genocide prevention and social justice for people at the margins of society.  

Chief Constable, Calgary Police Service

Chief Constable Neufeld believes strongly in providing top-quality police service to the community through professionalism, innovation, and inclusive leadership that is supportive of employees.

Neufeld joined the Calgary Police Service in 2019 after serving for two years as the Chief of the Camrose Police Service, a smaller community that gave him the opportunity to build strong partnerships with staff and residents to improve quality of life in the city. 

Neufeld is currently a member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police board of directors and the Canadian Police Knowledge Network. He also sits on boards for the Burns Memorial Fund and Calgary Police Foundation. He recently completed a Masters in criminology and police management at the University of Cambridge and the CACP Executive Global Studies program, where he studied international approaches to cybercrime.  

Neufeld began his policing career in 1992 with the Vancouver Police Department. One year later, the illness of a parent brought him to the Edmonton Police Service, where he spent time as a frontline patrol officer and gained experience in undercover operations, incident command, crisis negotiation and as a member of the EPS Public Order Unit. Through his career with EPS, Neufeld was promoted through to the rank of Superintendent and spent time in the Criminal Investigations Division, Operational Policy, the Intelligence Section, Professional Standards and Human Resources. He also completed two secondments with the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), including one as Director of Investigations. 

Neufeld was invested as a member of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces in 2014. He is also the recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Police Exemplary Service Medal, and the Alberta Law Enforcement Long Service Medal. 

Dean, Faculty of Social Work

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