Mayor Winnecke’s New Community Relations Board
In an effort to improve relations between the community (specifically the Black community), newly appointed Evansville Police Chief Billy Bolin asked me to become a part of a new Community Relations Board. Every first Friday of the Month, the Board meets in the Civic Center to discuss ways in which the EPD can more effectively do their jobs and keep the city safe. What suggestions would you make to the Chief and the Mayor?
One of the suggestions I made was that we need to find a way to have our Police Officers viewed as members of the communities they serve and not just strangers with badges that ride around looking solely to meet their arrest quotas. Maybe if we even just started back calling it OUR police department instead of just THE police, that can open the door to better relations by reminding BOTH sides that the police serve the communities they are part of.
Every year, I help promote the 911 Gives Hope for the Holidays Toy Drive and the Guns-N-Hoses Charity Boxing with Chief Bolin and many of the officers of our police department. They care about the Evansville community just as much as the next ordinary citizen, but racial, social, and sometimes just personal attitudes and misconceptions can cloud people's perspectives and judgement and get in the way of solving problems and working together.
So, the Mayor has asked me to give a call to action for us as member of the community, especially the Black Communities to find a way to bridge the gap between the Police Department and the residents they serve, and I need your help. Leave your suggestions in the comment box or attend the next Community Relations Board meeting, Friday, March 2nd in the Civic Center!