Maybe a meeting on “first contact” situations

Latest in a series of posts about the Bethlehem Police

Committee of the Whole meeting, October 29, 2020

Meeting documents here

view meeting here

“We’re not talking about things, it seems to me, that really matter.”
The Gadfly

ref: “I didn’t hear anything that I wanted to hear or anything that I felt I needed to hear”
ref: audio clip: Gadfly comment at Committee of the Whole October 22
ref: “Gadfly suggests a ‘first contact’ focus”

Here comes Gadfly’s one-man band again.

Playing the “first contact” song again.

Gadfly just can’t understand why the first contact situation isn’t at the top of everyone’s agenda.

It’s where people die. Needlessly.

It’s where textbook training sometimes gets tossed.

It’s where law enforcement careers get ruined.

It’s where communities get irresolvably traumatized.

It’s where suspicions of systemic racism get exacerbated.

It’s where rioting is catalyzed.

It’s where taxpayers pay millions for suits.


Gadfly comes near screaming for us to wake up.

But all was not for naught at the Committee of the Whole meeting.

At the very tail end, Councilman Reynolds played the “first contact” song, suggesting a meeting on the subject, perhaps a Public Safety meeting. (2.5 mins.)

Gadfly very much appreciated the Councilman giving the idea some life.

But he is not very confident anything will happen.

At this point Gadfly will respectfully register a sense of impatience with Councilman Colon, chair of the Public Safety Committee. While supporting such a meeting as Councilman Reynolds suggested, Gadfly senses no urgency in Councilman Colon’s voice. He is the man who has said several times that he believes change takes time, comes slowly. Frankly, Councilman Colon seems too comfortable with the status quo for the dyspeptic Gadfly’s liking. He is the one who should have seen the need for such a meeting without the prompting of Councilman Reynolds. And Gadfly remembers how long it took for the first post-GeorgeFloyd Public Safety meeting to happen, after which the 6hrs of commentary there went into a black hole.

It will be tough to get a meeting at this time of year (budget season), chair Colon rightly attests, but Gadfly thinks he hears a call for sacrifice in President Waldron’s concluding words (2 mins.).

People are dying good chairman Colon, very often people of color. Let’s get ‘er done, dude, as John Wayne says in the classic Western “Rio Grande.”

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