Latest in a series of posts responding to the George Floyd killing
Chew on this!
Here’s a resolution to be voted on at Tuesday’s City Council meeting asking Council to approve “urging” the Mayor in collaboration with the Police Department to establish a Community Engagement Initiative.
Gadfly is surprised at the timing. He was expecting a Public Safety Committee meeting first before there was any action.
Gadfly is surprised at the nature of the request. But more on that later.
Gadfly always suggests that you go to the primary source and form your own opinions.
Gadfly hopes that you will pay strict attention, for the City’s response to the George Floyd killing has the potential to have infinitely more impact on the fundamental nature of city life than a casino or a Martin Tower — or a pandemic.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT:
RESOLVED, that the City Council of the City of Bethlehem urges the Mayor and his
Administration to collaborate with the City of Bethlehem Police Department to create a public space and forum for the long-term discussion of issues surrounding systemic racism, discrimination, race-based inequities, social justice, mental health, addiction, poverty eradication, inclusionary housing, education, and fair policing practices (“Community Engagement Initiative”). The Community Engagement Initiative might include and/or interface with any individuals or entities that the Mayor and his Administration think appropriate such as citizens, human service organizations, the medical community, school leaders, social justice organizations, police officers, and Police Department leaders.
Some of the group’s primary functions might include:
• Assist City government in setting funding and resource allocation priorities within the City of Bethlehem Police Department;
• Assist in organizing Police Department non-enforcement neighborhood events in order to build more trust between citizens, our individual police officers, and our Police Department as a whole;
• Discuss the intersection of race, homelessness, mental health, addiction, poverty, housing, law enforcement, and other issues;
• Discuss law enforcement and policing issues, including data on arrests and enforcement activities across our City’s geographic zones and diverse racial and ethnic communities; and
• Generate policy proposals and create metrics to measure any policy changes.
Peter Crownfield points out that we might have a local resource for such community engagement, the International Institute for Restorative Practices, which coordinated police-community summits in Detroit.