Southern Oregon Black Community Police Forum #1 Recap

Southern Oregon Black Community Policing Forum Recap
The October 21 Southern Oregon Black Policing Forum was hosted jointly by BASE and SOBLACC. Nearly 100 members of our community attended over Zoom to hear police chiefs Kristine Allison of Central Point, Tighe O’Meara of Ashland, and Scott Clauson of Medford, together with Jackson County Sheriff Nathan Sickler, speak to policing in Southern Oregon and how it impacts Black lives.

BASE’s Vance Beach and Keith Jenkins of SOBLACC opened the discussion by sharing their own harrowing experiences with law enforcement locally, and set the tone for the dialogue: This is personal.

Precious Edmonds of SOBLACC asked the officers pointed questions from our community about policing practices and there was an opportunity for audience questions as well. The conversation included their current methods for reporting biased policing, plans for diversity and future bias trainings, our shared goals for these meetings, and the work we have ahead of us to improve police-community relations. You can watch the forum in its entirety here or on the BASE facebook page.

Dr. Flora of BASE left us with a passionate closing reiterating the historical importance of this moment and the onus upon all of us to now take history into our own hands. During this time, each of the officers made commitments to:

1-a reframing of their respective cultural agility trainings to make them non-biased.
2-accountability amongst the officers to take responsibility for prejudice in their own departments.
3-the appointment of a community liaison to bridge between the police department and the Black community.
4-continuing the conversation in a follow up forum on December 9, 2020.

Thank you to everyone who attended. Together, our voices are louder and our community is stronger. This is not a movement! These conversations are a path towards meaningful and lasting change. We hope to see you at the next forum on December 9.
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