Chief Kott mixing business and pleasure tonight at the Latinx Block Party

Latest in a series of posts about the Bethlehem Police

“I will absolutely give [Salsa] a try, in addition to being Chief of Police, my more important job is I’m a mom of a 6-yr-old and a 3-yr-old. Something I’m really big on is trying things, I don’t believe you shouldn’t try things, even if you are bad at it, you have to give your best attempt. So I would be a huge hypocrite if I didn’t try, and I want to show my kids that it’s about getting out there and having fun, experiencing things, I’m going to give it my best shot.”
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Touchstone Theatre

Latinx Block Party
Tonight 6-9pDoors open at 5:30pm
Seating is first come, first served
Tickets are FREE, donations are welcome
Performance takes place OUTSIDE, in Touchstone’s parking lot. Masks and social distancing are required for all attendees.

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Interview: James Johnson.BPD Chief Michelle Kott & Guillermo Lopez with Latinx Community Outreach. WDIY News, April 22. 2021.

Listen to Guillermo give you background about and a pep talk on the paaaarty tonight!

But Gadfly really especially wants you to listen to Chief Kott (begin min. 9:00).

Pay attention not only to what the Chief says but how she says it.

We’ve heard her forefront community engagement by the police at Council meetings.

And we’ve seen that community engagement recorded in social media lately.

This is the first time Gadfly has heard about the newly born (1 1/2 weeks ago) “Neighborhood Outreach Initiative.”

But, in addition, Gadfly wonders if, like him, you can hear in her voice genuine personal enthusiasm for community engagement and being a good mother.

Give a listen:

  • sees “perfect opportunity to get out into the community and recruit some local individuals to become Bethlehem police officers”
  • “I’m very big on having a department that represents the community”
  • “One of our goals in recruiting this year is to really try and reach out and have more Hispanic applicants, have more African American applicants, individuals of color, people who speak different languages, members of the LGBTQ community
  • “so this was perfect on the recruitment level”
  • “but also, since being appointed to this position . . . I really wanted to bring back that sense of community engagement, that community policing the BPD used to be so well known for”
  • “This is an excellent opportunity for a great cause, for Touchstone Theatre, for us to get out into the community, be there tp answer questions, learn and celebrate our local Latinx culture and community”
  • “I feel like it’s a win-win”
  • “We have a neighborhood outreach initiative that just started about a week and a half ago”
  • “We already have community police officers assigned to the business districts”
  • “We just don’t want community policing to be about a community policing unit”
  • “It’s got to be something that’s embedded in every single unit, so our neighborhood outreach consists of time slots where officers have a designated time to walk around a neighborhood or bike, get out of the car, and be more approachable, and talk to residents, play basketball with kids, hand out literature”
  • “In addition to going to events like the Block Party, we have other initiatives to get officers out of cars, interacting and talking with community members”
  • “I am a horrible dancer, but I am willing to try anything, and learn, I’m just really looking forward to engage with members of the community, informal conversations, laugh, smile, the spring is such a great time of year, and having this block party couldn’t come at a better time”
  • “People are getting vaccinated, we are no means in the clear yet with the pandemic, but this is a great opportunity to gather safely and celebrate and have a great time”
  • “I’m just looking forward to everything — the food, music, dancing, and fellowship”
  • “I will absolutely give [Salsa] a try, in addition to being Chief of police, my more important job is I’m a mom of a 6-yr-old and a 3-yr-old”
  • “Something I’m really big on is trying things, I don’t believe you shouldn’t try things, even if you are bad at it, you have to give your best attempt”
  • “So I would be a huge hypocrite if I didn’t try, and I want to show my kids that it’s about getting out there and having fun, experiencing things, I’m going to give it my best shot”

Dance on, Chief!

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