The Southern Oregon Racial Equity Liaison’s primary goal is to serve as a protective intermediary for Black community interactions with law enforcement. The goal of the office is to work in conjunction with all local law enforcement agencies as well as Jackson County Mental Health, EMT’s, Fire Departments and also serve in roles with the administrations of our local universities and colleges. The program’s goal is to cultivate vocally equitable law enforcement policies in our valley and improve the relationship between law enforcement and the Black community by creating accountable and transparent relationships.
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Southern Oregon Racial Equality Liaison
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A Trusted Community Contact
Bridging the gap between law enforcement and the Black community
Recognizing the history of legitimate distrust the Black community has in law enforcement and understanding the need to take steps to build a relationship founded on mutual respect, the liaison will not be a mandatory reporter except for ongoing child abuse or other violence. This will allow more citizens to be able to trust the process and empower them to be able to connect to the liaison for services. The liaison will also process hate crime reports and complaints about racism occurring in the Jackson County Police Departments
Liaison Committee Oversight
Accessing and publicizing policing and social service statistics
The Committee will work with Liaisons to establish the following:
- publicize social service statistics, including policing statistics, that show racial disparities.
- report annually on discrepancies and set specific goals to create equity.
- monitor complaints of bias against our law enforcement officers and departments.
- meet monthly to discuss progress and needs of the liaisons.
Develop training for the law enforcement community
Anti-racism, implicit bias and cultural sensitivity training are each critical elements to creating an equitable, diverse and responsible law enforcement community. While we recognize that training alone is not capable of reforming those biases that predominate in American society, the Liaison will play a critical role in ensuring quality, regularity and progress of training in partnered Police departments.
In response to the nationally recognized problems, Black community members have endured from policing. The Police Chiefs of Central Point, Ashland, Medford, and the Sheriff of Jackson County have signed commitments to support and collaborate with the Southern Oregon Racial Equity Liaison, recognizing the need to repair and build the relationship between the Black community and local law enforcement.
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Investing in rebuilding community trust benefits us all. Without donations from individuals and local businesses, the Southern Oregon Racial Equity Liaison project would not be possible. Make a Donation
Letters of support from the following community organizations:
- Ashland City Council
- Oregon Shakespeare Festival
- Ashland Independent Film Festival
- Southern Oregon University
- Medford School District
- United Way
- Southern Oregon Education Services District
The Chief Liaison position is still being established. However, to begin servicing the community immediately a qualified Jackson County resident was selected to volunteer for the position. Dr. Flora M. White-Cooper has accepted the Chief Interim Liaison position. She has already begun serving the community’s needs by aligning with Jackson County police departments and supportive legal agencies.