City of Independence Mayor Eileen Weir joined members of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force for a special meeting yesterday, Monday, June 8, at which she continued a conversation regarding the actions our community can take to address ongoing concerns related to racial equality and the use of force by police. With the Task Force’s approval, the Mayor signed onto the Obama Foundation Pledge.
“It’s important that we recognize this global conversation but moreover, we have to take actions to move our community forward,” Mayor Eileen Weir said. “The conversation with our Diversity and Inclusion Task Force is a continuation of the important community engagement we have had over the last few years. We will have additional conversations over the next few months as we work with the Independence Police Department to review their policies and we look forward to reporting the findings of these actions with the public. We are continuing to look at policies not only within the Police Department but also our City of Independence Boards and Commissions to further encourage citizen participation in the future of our community.”
The Obama Foundation Pledge asks mayors, councils and police oversight groups to review police use of force policies, engage the community in this review, report the findings and take appropriate actions to reform use of force policies when appropriate.
Independence Police Chief Brad Halsey stated the Independence Police Department has regularly reviewed polices and is committed to including the community in this process.
“Over the last few years we have added new training for our officers and focused on creating positive relationships with all areas of our community,” Independence Police Chief Brad Halsey said. “This latest discussion allows us the opportunity to look at our policies and procedures in a new light. We will be engaging with our Community Relations Committee as well as the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force as we discuss any changes or future steps.”
The Diversity and Inclusion Task Force will next meet in July.
“I want our citizens to know that we are committed to more than words,” Mayor Weir said. “This is a very real pledge to take actions to improve the lives of all of our citizens. I look forward to continuing this conversation and encourage citizens to reach out if they have concerns or ideas.”
As announced last week, if citizens have concerns they would like to share with the City, they are encouraged to email email@example.com.