It’s time to tell our city manager we support restorative justice in the police department.
Submit your feedback by this Friday, December 21, through the online form at www.accgov.com/policechief, through voicemail by calling (706) 224-3202, or through paper forms available at City Hall in the Manager’s Office (301 College Avenue, Suite 301) and at the Police Department’s East Precinct/Headquarters (3035 Lexington Highway) during normal business hours.
When Police Chief Scott Freeman was fired in September, we joined with Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement and Athens Immigrant Rights Coalition to demand community input, transparency and restorative justice practices in the hiring of our next police chief. Although this request for input is a step toward those goals, it was achieved through public pressure and it is not enough. It overlooks those who speak languages other than English, those who might not have Internet access, those who might not hear about this process and others. We need as many people as possible to provide their feedback.
We demand that Athens hire a police chief who supports the creation of a Civilian Police Accountability Board to provide true community policing, in which the community has oversight over the police force. We want a police chief who will follow through with Senate Bill 407, which allows officers to issue citations instead of arrests for a number of misdemeanors. We want a police chief who will move our city forward, toward justice, not a “back the blue” good ol’ boy. We want a police chief committed to demilitarizing the department, and more. We’re out canvassing the community to find out what they want, but you need to share your voice, too.
Personalized calls are more effective than multiple calls reading the same script, so express your personal feelings frankly! Here is an example script that you can build off of or use:
I’m asking you to hire a police chief committed to restorative justice practices. I want a police chief who supports the creation of a Civilian Police Accountability Board to provide true community policing and will demilitarize the department. I want a police chief who will move our city forward, toward justice, and prioritize transparency.
Thank you for the chance to share my concerns.
Please provide your feedback TODAY.
TELL THEM: We want a police chief who will move us forward!
Thanks for caring,
Legislative Action Network
Athens for Everyone
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