SANTA ROSA – Today, the City of Santa Rosa unveiled a proactive plan to address Santa Rosa Police Department (SRPD) policies and practices through a strategic process guided with community input – the Santa Rosa Community Empowerment Plan. The overall goal of the Plan aims to improve the community’s relationship with and trust in the City of Santa Rosa, including the Police Department.
“I am confident that this new community engagement plan will empower residents to be a part of creating a more unified and safer Santa Rosa,” says Mayor Tom Schwedhelm. “I hope this plan shows the community that we, as a City, are committed to engaging with residents and having our community involved in the decision-making process with our Police Department.”
This groundbreaking action plan outlines a series of strategies to build a true partnership with residents. While the plan is fluid and will evolve with community feedback, some of the City’s initial action items include:
- Engage at least 50 community leaders and develop a plan for broader community engagement by July 31, 2020.
- Host at least five Community Listening Sessions by August 31, 2020. Input from these listening sessions will help shape the City’s next steps in policy development and the independent police auditor contract scope of work before it goes out for request for proposals.
- Present Community Listening Session outcomes to the community by September 30, 2020.
- Develop a 2021 plan for ongoing community engagement opportunities by December 31, 2020.
“There’s a lot of work ahead of us to build more trust with our community,” explains Chief Rainer Navarro. “I want to reassure the community that the men and women of the Santa Rosa Police Department are committed to seeing these changes through.”
SRPD is already implementing changes to policies in response to community feedback. Just today the department eliminated the use of carotid restraint, from its Use of Force Policy.
In addition to goals and timelines, the plan outlines community stakeholders, assigned City staff, and proposed budget. City Manager Sean McGlynn adds: “I am evaluating budget reallocation options for consideration by the City Council, with an emphasis on Community Engagement, to bring about the change the community is calling for.”
Staff will present the Community Empowerment Plan to City Council at a study session on June 30th. All residents of Santa Rosa are encouraged to provide input on the Plan and its goals via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by watching and making comment during the City Council Study Session on June 30th. For information on watching and providing comment during City Council meetings, visit santa-rosa.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.