Battle Ground and its citizens, police force, city administration and leadership are not exempt when it comes to implicit bias. Those biases may be unintentionally reflected in policy and procedures established over time. As a 35-year resident and small business owner, I am calling on the Battle Ground City Council and mayor to take the pledge outlined by My Brother’s Keeper:
"Mayors and other City Council officials are uniquely positioned to introduce common-sense limits on police use of force. That’s why the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance is calling on mayors to commit to the following actions:
1. Review your police use of force policies.
2. Engage your communities by including a diverse range of input, experiences and stories in your review.
3. Report the findings of your review to your community and seek feedback.
4. Reform your community’s police use of force policies."
These are common sense actions that fall directly under Battle Ground's No. 1 guiding principle: Public Safety: Continue to invest in public safety efforts maintaining or increasing the level of services and community outreach programs to ensure community well-being.
I believe that taking these practical steps will make Battle Ground an even better place to live and raise our families. Won't you join me in inviting the council to take the pledge and follow through on these commitments?