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Citizen advisory board on policing

Dear neighbors,

The murder of George Floyd and the events of the last couple weeks have shown how far we have to go to end systemic racism in this country, specifically in law enforcement. As an elected official, I have a responsibility to think about what we can do to address the issue.

Over the past week, I’ve had very good conversations with residents about their thoughts for what we can do in Manheim Township to combat systemic racism. There is a great value in having public input in policing matters.

That’s why I will make a motion at our next meeting to start the process to create a citizen advisory board on policing. It will bring our diverse representatives of our community together with the police department to explore any necessary reforms.

In Manheim Township, our police department already incorporates many best practices when it comes to training and limiting the use of force. I am proud of our professional department and thankful for our officers. Every day, they engage with our community and display a commitment to keeping us safe.

Even so, we have a responsibility to learn, improve, and increase transparency in policing. A citizen advisory board will allow us to do that. Ultimately, it will report back to the Board of Commissioners on what we’re doing right, and what we need to do differently.

It is my hope that we work quickly to begin these important conversations.

Best,

Tom