Yes, several other communities in California have lowrider patrol cars. This includes the City of Oakland, City of San Diego, and the City of Stockton.
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The purpose of this project is to build stronger relationships between the City of Santa Rosa and Santa Rosa’s Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities. More specifically, the car will be used by the Santa Rosa Police Department (SRPD) as a community outreach and engagement tool once the build is completed by the Sonoma County Lowrider Council and other interested community members.
Community Engagement staff held a series of listening sessions from July through December 2020 with BIPOC community groups. One of these sessions was with the Sonoma County Lowrider Council. The Lowrider Council proposed the idea to then Mayor Tom Schwedhelm, Police Chief Rainer Navarro, and Community Engagement staff. The proposal included partnering with the City of Santa Rosa to develop the design of the car; build the car using Lowrider Council members expertise and skill; develop ideas for its use; and develop a plan for outreach.
The Lowrider Patrol Car Project will be funded by the Office of Community Engagement’s budget. This project falls under the designated funding for the Community Empowerment Plan and once completed, the car will be used as a community outreach and engagement tool.
In addition to funding from the Office of Community Engagement, donations from individual community members, businesses, and community-based organizations have been made for this project.
Staff from the Office of Community Engagement, along with Council Member Schwedhelm and Police Chief Navarro, met with residents from Santa Rosa Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) community groups from July through December 2020 for listening session that were part of the Community Empowerment Plan (Plan). One listening session group, the Sonoma County Lowrider Council, proposed this idea during one of the sessions as a community bridge building and community healing tool. As a community-led idea and project, this effort falls under Goals 1 and 3 of the Plan, as well as the Empower category of the Spectrum of Community Engagement. Under this category, the community is empowered to bring forth ideas and make decisions alongside City staff on project development and implementation. Through the Community Empowerment Plan, the Office of Community Engagement will support the Sonoma County Lowrider Council in providing funding for the project, as well as community resources and communication and outreach to the community on the project.
No, once completed, this car will be used for outreach and engagement activities only. Some of these activities include: