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Keeping in touch: Notes from the Mayor

Mayor Lucy VinisThis blog aims to nurture our conversation and understanding of the issues before us. Every week, I will provide a weekly update on the activities in the city government, my activities as mayor, and brief reflections on progress, opportunities and challenges. You are invited to respond with reactions, insights and questions. We do this work together.

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Feb 12

February 11, 2022

Posted on February 12, 2022 at 12:07 PM by Niyah Ross

Council had one 90-minute work session this week to review the matrix of recommendations from the Ad Hoc Committee on Police Policy.  As you may recall, the committee presented 52 recommendations to Council in 2021 which covered use of force, hiring and training, body worn cameras, civilian oversight, and independent investigation and prosecution. 

 

The Council directed their three employees, the City Manager, Police Auditor and Municipal Court Judge, to review the recommendations and provide a framework to guide the analysis and decision-making process for each of the recommendations.  In this work session, they returned with a simple and informative matrix that identifies the path for further work or adoption of the recommendation, the current status of the work, relevant notes that help explain the context, and additional information and resources.  

 

The information is not exhaustive – it provides a framework and points the way and makes it easier for Council and the public to understand the status and process going forward.  There are many gradations and nuances to this work: some recommendations are reflected in updates that have already been implemented, some are in progress, others under review. As the Ad Hoc Committee acknowledged, a number of their recommendations involved decisions at another level of government.   

 

Council approved two motions after their discussion: to direct the Manager to provide additional review, analysis and information on all of the recommendations which require intergovernmental action; and to schedule a work session on the history and status of the City’s current civilian oversight system. 

 

There are two important messages in this work: first, we are taking the recommendations seriously. The matrix is a first step in assuring the public that the deliberative process will be ongoing and transparent. Second, this is long-term work. Reforming police policy will always be a part of our City’s obligation to the public to ensure that we provide the best service to everyone in our community.