Published on: Wednesday, March 10, 2021 News

Announcing Takoma Park's New Public Safety Task Force Members

I am pleased to announce our Reimagining Public Safety Task Force:

Thank you to all of the residents that expressed interest in serving on the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force. We are grateful to have such a talented group of residents that are willing to serve on this important topic. I am pleased to announce the City Council’s selection of participants for the Task Force.

To learn more about the Task Force including the Task Force Members, bio’s, and how you might be able to watch Task Force meetings, please see the Reimagining Public Safety web page.

Why is Reimagining Public Safety Important?

The City of Takoma Park recognizes the history and impact of racism on Black and Brown people in our community. Systemic racism is at the root of racial disparities in education and job attainment, housing, and healthcare, as well as police stops, and incarceration rates. Moreover, the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, along with many other Black and Brown people at the hands of the police highlight the need to reform and a reimagining of public safety in our country. In light of what is happening in our country on public safety and race equity, we are taking an evidence-based approach to assessing the City’s public safety policies and established a resident-led task force to inform the City Council’s decision-making on public safety reform.

The Purpose of the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force:

The purpose of the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force is to develop recommendations that make Takoma Park a safer, more livable community for all residents, with an emphasis on addressing racial inequalities that exist in government and services evolving around public safety. This Task Force is our opportunity to bring new voices into the process as we take stock of what is working, what is not, and as we explore best practices in public safety.

Nearly 40 people applied for the 15 member Task Force. The applicant pool was very diverse in terms of race, age, ward representation, renters/ homeowners, education, and professional affiliation. The majority of applicants (72%) self-identified as a person of color. Applicants were reviewed based on the following factors:

  • Residency,
  • Written Expression of Interest in the Task Force,
  • Organization and Community Affiliations,
  • Diversity and Inclusion, and
  • The overall composition of the Task Force

I look forward to the recommendations that come from this effort. Congratulations to the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force Members for your service. Your valuable work will inform the transformation of public safety in the City of Takoma Park as we know it.