Our Hillsboro Community has been grappling with matters regarding our police force ever since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police earlier this year; a death that took 8 minutes and 46 seconds and was the flashpoint for the Black Lives Matter movement. His murder (case pending) by police officers sparked movements across the nation and around the world. The repercussions have reached every community in the United States and Hillsboro is no exception.
At the first Black Lives Matter movement in Hillsboro, the crowd was large and fired up and they were looking for answers. We saw many young people stand and ask questions and speak their truth and their hearts. Racism is alive and well here in Hillsboro as per their testimony. Many spoke about their fears regarding law enforcement. Many choked back tears as they shared their feelings of not being safe here in the community. It was a powerful rally and it has been followed by marches and other gatherings around the area too.
At the rally we attended the question of tear gas, chokeholds, and police tactics were posed to Mayor Steve Callaway and Councilor Beach Pace. It was a tense interchange with both of them promising to work for a community policing program that protects everyone. This upcoming work session on Monday will be a continuation of that promise
Here is what the City Website has posted:
At the City of Hillsboro we recognize that our Police Department is a model for many communities across the nation. We have become this model because of the dedicated work of our officers and support staff and their continuous drive to meet and exceed the expectations of ALL members of our community.
We were early adopters of progressive ideas such as community policing, participating in events with our community, and partnering with youth empowerment organizations.
These ideas and initiatives have made a positive impact in our community, but we recognize that some members of our community, in particular our people of color, have not equally experienced the same positive outcomes we hoped for.
It is with this lens — and calls to action from the community after the death of George Floyd and several national incidents related to police use of force — that we have developed an internal working group on the future of public safety and policing in our City.
This workgroup consists of employees within the Hillsboro Police Department, Human Resources Department, and City Manager’s Office — and is guided by policy direction from the City Council. This webpage provides a summary of work accomplished and underway, a timeline of events, comments received from the public, and links to several City Council meetings and statements related to policing and public safety.
Please reach out to us at any time if you have suggestions, thoughts or ideas on policing and public safety within the City. Share your thoughts, comments, and feedback with the Hillsboro City Council.
Your involvement as a Citizen is crucial and while you will not be able to participate in the work session you can email your comments anytime to the link in red above and the City Council will see them. The City has received over 200 comments thus far with a Majority seeking some changes and modifications.
The Hillsboro Herald staff believes citizen involvement is the cornerstone of a vibrant and healthy community- we encourage you to watch and submit your comments on this matter.
Here is the rest of the info:
The Hillsboro City Council will review and discuss police oversight at an upcoming Zoom Teleconference Work Session on December 1.
Police Oversight Work Session
December 1, 2020 at 6 pm
The Work Session will be held immediately after the 6 pm City Council meeting concludes.
Phone: 1-253-215-8782 or 1-301-715-8592
Meeting ID: 891 9659 7810
Join the Work Session on Zoom.
While public comments are not received during work sessions, community members may share their suggestions and ideas on policing and public safety via email at any time. Share your thoughts with the Hillsboro City Council.
Topics of Discussion
- Progress updates since last work session.
- Existing oversight processes within the Police Department
- Information on complaints and use-of-force incidents from 2019 and 2018
- Role of the Hillsboro Police Officers’ Association (police union) in the disciplinary process
- Options for police oversight models that could exist
- Recommendations from the City Manager for police oversight improvements, including a long-term strategy to increase community engagement focused on historically marginalized communities
- December 1, 2020 Police Oversight Work Session Staff Report
Final meeting materials for the City Council Meeting and Work Session will be available on the City’s CivicWeb Portal on Wednesday, November 25 by 5 pm.