This phase provides the city a chance to check in with the community
The City of Boulder is opening up a second window of engagement in connection with its efforts to reimagine policing and update the Police Department’s Master Plan.
This summer, the city invited community members to share their values, hopes and concerns for the future of policing in Boulder. Open-ended feedback was collected during in-person and virtual listening sessions, online at Be Heard Boulder and through community connectors in harder to reach populations. The goal was to create a safe space for everyone to share ideas in their own words rather than preconceived concepts.
The quantitative and qualitative data collected were used to develop the following draft Reimagine Policing values statements, which the city plans to use as touchpoints and an aspirational vision throughout the remainder of the planning process. The summary report for Engagement Window I: Values, Hopes & Concerns, including links to all public feedback, is available at Reimagine Policing | City of Boulder (bouldercolorado.gov).
Proposed Values Statements
We feel safe in our community when:
- We are all free to enjoy public and private spaces without fear of harm.
- Laws are enforced equitably.
- Police respond professionally and respectfully when we need them, but we have alternative and creative resources to address problems not suited to policing.
- We demonstrate we are a compassionate community that supports the basic needs and the right to be free from crime for all community members.
- Criminal behavior is met with accountability measures that are fair and just within policing and other systems, with opportunities for individuals to be supported in underlying issues.
- Officers are part of the communities they serve, building relationships and understanding and addressing problems before having to step up enforcement and resort to force.
In addition to creating value statements, the city analyzed community feedback to define and refine possible focus areas that could shape the final plan. The proposed focus areas are as follows:
Integrating with Community
- Building relationships with community members and neighborhoods outside of emergencies
- Pro-active, problem-solving partnerships
- Communication and education to help the community understand the department’s work, successes and challenges
Ensuring Right Response, Role for Police
- Relationships with other organizations/alternative resources to ensure most appropriate response to encampments, mental health and other social issues
- Evaluating benefits/challenges to reallocating department funding or functions
- Ensuring training that supports department staff in responding to a variety of community members and situations
Providing Leadership in Preventing/Reducing Crime
- Strategies to prevent crime in the community while also being consistent with shared values
- Promoting concept of doing no harm
- Responsiveness when crime, dangerous situations occur
Serving as a Trusted Partner in Equity, Anti-Racism, Support for Vulnerable Populations
- Workforce diversity
- Training on anti-racism/bias, as well as working with vulnerable populations
Partnership/communication with communities/organizations representing traditionally marginalized populations to improve access, communication with the department and its services
Recruiting & Supporting a Professional Workforce with Integrity
- Officer/Staff Wellness
- Defining “quality candidate”
- Recruiting/Retaining quality candidates
- Increasing/maintaining morale
Modeling Transparency & Accountability
- Use of Force
- Crime statistics
- Interactions with different populations
For the next two weeks, the city is seeking feedback about whether these values and proposed focus areas resonate with the community. Community members are asked to complete a short form on https://www.beheardboulder.org/reimagine-policing now through October 17, 2021. Feedback received will be used to further refine these values and focus areas and then present them to City Council for input in late November/early December 2021. Once the focus areas are solidified, the city will begin to draft strategies and priorities in each category and ask the community for feedback again starting in December 2021.
The Police Master Plan is expected to be completed in the fall of 2022 and will serve as a vision for the future with goals on how the police department will serve the community. More information about this process and the full summary report for Window I is available at Reimagine Policing | City of Boulder (bouldercolorado.gov).