New West hosts online forum on police reform and crisis care

New West residents are invited to learn more about the city’s plans for police reform and crisis care during a panel discussion with local organizations.

Com. Nadine Nakagawa will host a live panel discussion, Creating a Community of Care, on Police Service Reform and Community Crisis Care, on Tuesday, October 5 at 6:30 pm The event will provide residents with an opportunity to ” learn about the city’s new vision for policing and community crisis care and hear about innovative approaches that are already underway.

“From the continued trauma of residential schools to the emergence of Black Lives Matter and police reform movements, it is clear that our systems for managing crisis care in the community are not working,” said Nakagawa, President. of the city police reform work. group. “Our City Council listens to our community and takes a compassionate approach by exploring new ways to ensure we have a safe, respectful and inclusive community for all. “

After presenting the video submitted by the city to the province’s special committee on police law reform, Nakagawa will lead a 30-45 minute roundtable with Esther Hsieh, executive director of Umbrella Multicultural Health Co-Op, and Lynda Fletcher-Gordon, Director of the Health Contact Center operated by the Lower Mainland Purpose Society for Youth and Families. This will be followed by an open question-and-answer session.

According to the city, the discussion will focus on the links between issues such as housing affordability, the opioid crisis, the global COVID-19 pandemic, community inclusion and reconciliation, and police reform.

The public is invited to submit questions to the panel in advance ([email protected]) or to Zoom during the live discussion.

The provincial government is currently considering reforming the Police Act and has invited the public to submit comments on the matter.

“We need fundamental changes in the policing model to move away from the focus on law enforcement to address the root causes of social unrest that disrupt the quality of life and well-being of our community, ”Nakagawa said in a press release. “What we need is housing, health care and community services so that all members of our community have the chance to thrive. “

In May, the council supported a written and video submission for the Special Committee on Police Law Reform. The City of New Westminster’s approach to police reform rests on four main pillars:

* Develop a new model of community response that relies on a full range of service providers to ensure public safety.

* Provide a voice for racialized and vulnerable populations so that policing and support services are inclusive and respectful, rather than isolating and harmful.

* Improve and expand data collection and analysis so that more informed decisions can be made on how public safety and related issues are handled.

* Reform police boards to ensure greater accountability at the community level.

The Zoom webinar discussion will be webcast live on the City of New Westminster Facebook page. A video of the discussion will later be posted on the New West Matters page of the city’s website at www.newwestcity.ca.

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus
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