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Participants Sought For Citizen-Police Council on Bias

By Thomas P. Connolly Jr., Chief of Police

As I stated last summer, I am starting a Citizen-Police Council which will meet to discuss issues of implicit bias and its associated systemic bias against people of color, members of the LBGTQ community, and other disadvantaged groups. It is my hope that:

  • Council members will listen to each other and look inward, and eventually see that all of us have implicit biases, and that those biases cause us to make choices and decisions that negatively affect people
  • Council members will learn to identify their biases and make conscious efforts to eliminate those biases
  • Council members will then reach out to their friends, relatives, and associates, and invite them to a Council meeting where they too will identify their own implicit biases
  • That the circle will expand exponentially
  • That in the late spring/early summer, the Council will sponsor a community-wide meet, greet, and discussion about implicit bias and attract hundreds of new people to the conversation

I am requesting that people who live in Sanford/Springvale, and are interested in participating in this initial Citizen-Police Council, send me a letter with a short bio and the reason that they want to become a member of this initial group. I am requiring letters because taking the time to write a letter indicates a serious desire to do some work. I am especially hopeful that people of color, LBGTQ people, and other people who are disadvantaged will show an interest in becoming a member of the Council.

My plan is to keep the initial group relatively small, perhaps nine to twelve people. I will open this process immediately, with a closure date of November 20th. Selected members will be notified via mail; however, please include an email address or a telephone number where you may be reached.

[Editor’s note: The Sanford Police Department’s mailing address is 935 Main St., Sanford ME 04073]

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