The Diversity, Equity & Equal Employment Commission announced this week that plans are being finalized for the first public forum addressing police policies and practices in Everett, according to Chairman Bishop Robert Brown.
The Commission was formed in June of this year in the wake of a rise in police violence around the country aimed particularly toward people of color, as well as an increase of activity by white supremacists and other hate groups. The DeMaria Administration recognized how concerning this was to Everett residents, many of whom are people of color. In response, Mayor DeMaria appointed Bishop Brown of the Zion Church Ministries to chair and direct the Commission in its work to address inequities in policing as well as other City services and the recruitment, hiring, and training practices throughout the city.
The Commission’s initial focus was a review of the Everett Police Department’s policies regarding the use of force, training standards, and the process of reporting and maintaining data. This important focus, which would include a presentation to and input from the public, has been ongoing since July with the cooperation of the Everett Police Department. The Commission is in the final planning stages of a public forum in which it will present its initial findings. The public will be invited to provide input to address some of the challenges that may impact the relationship between the community and the Everett Police Department.
In addition to this crucial first step, the Commission is also engaged in the important work of increasing diversity throughout our City systems. The work of the Commission is long term and on-going. Commission members, with the support of the DeMaria Administration, said they are fully committed to achieving meaningful and sustainable change for the betterment of the community.
“There are no band-aid solutions,” read a statement from the Commission. “The Commission was not formed as a short-term solution to an urgent problem. The members of the Commission are fully committed to ongoing conversation and sustainable solutions to the challenges caused by systemic racism, discrimination, and disenfranchisement. We look forward to continuing this work and to receiving feedback from the community during our upcoming forum.”
The date and additional details of the Forum will be published soon.