At the June 15 City Commission meeting Kalamazoo City Manager Jim Ritsema discussed a series of action steps that the City Administration and the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety will begin immediately in response to the events which occurred in Kalamazoo May 30 through June 2.
“We recognize that many in the community had concerns about the events of the last couple of weeks and in order to openly and fairly address these concerns we are taking concrete steps,” said City Manager Jim Ritsema.
Aided by Kalamazoo’s recently appointed Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the City will hire an independent, outside investigator to review the events surrounding the protests and the City’s actions in response. The Community Public Safety Review & Advisory Board (CPSRAB) will assist in the selection of the investigator. The outside investigator will review if Public Safety’s procedures were followed, if existing procedures are appropriate, and if there are recommendations for changes. The city will also examine other existing KDPS procedures through the viewpoint of equity.
Other steps will include an update to the traffic stop study which was last completed in 2013, a review of the role of CPSRAB, increased equity training for KDPS officers and city staff, and opportunities for community members to share their experiences that they have had with Public Safety. The public will be kept informed throughout this process with the addition of a Public Information Officer, which was approved in the 2020 budget.
“As we move forward together on this important and necessary work with the community, we know this is just the beginning and that there is much more to do,” said City Manager Jim Ritsema. “We will continue to strive for greater diversity, equity and inclusion not only in our Public Safety endeavors, but everything we do to serve the community.”