WASHINGTON — The Washington Police Department will now have a way to hear feedback from community members through the newly established Police Community Advisory Committee.
At the city council meeting Tuesday, Mayor Jaron Rosien explained creating this group was a goal for the department in order to “enhance community relations with the public” as well as improve outreach. A group of eight individuals were appointed by the mayor to serve on the board in order to represent various groups of citizens.
They are: Erik Buccholz, Washington Community School District; Erin Kaye, ministerial association; Elaine Moore, city council; Jacqueline Arreola, Latinos for Washington; Michelle Redlinger, Washington Chamber of Commerce; Anna Venenga, library; Dave Hoffman, people with disabilities; Tera Pickens, citizen.
The group will meet about three to four times per year and will help provide a new perspective to the department, said chief Jim Lester.
“I believe it will be a good opportunity for this group to help the department as we do some restructuring and as we get to build our five-year strategic plan,” he said.
City Administrator Brent Hinson said more members can be added as the group sees fit and felt the new committee was just another tool for the police department to use.
“This is something that is meant to be a sounding board and coalition that the chief can lean back on when he’s wanting thoughts or an opinion on a legal issue or whatever it may be,” he said.
The committee was approved by a vote of 4-0. Council members Brendan DeLong and Elaine Moore were absent from Tuesday night’s meeting.