The city’s Police Commission is gearing up for a series of monthly discussions about the Burbank Police Department’s policies, though some commissioners also emphasized caution in responding to residents’ calls for reform.
The commission largely used Tuesday’s meeting to develop ideas for discussion at future meetings. Many of the topics were brought up by residents who called in during the public comment period.
For instance, some residents who called the commission asked the group to review the way the BPD responds to situations involving a person with a mental illness, suggesting that sending mental health professionals would be a more appropriate response then sending an armed officer.
Some also wanted the BPD, which publishes its use-of-force policy and annual complaints statistics on its website, to list a breakdown of arrest records by race. Others pushed for funding to be diverted from the department to other city agencies.
“I have only ever had positive experiences with BPD and I am grateful for the work you do,” said Katie Ward in a public comment made to commissioners by phone. “I also understand, however, that I am afforded privilege by virtue of my white skin that not everyone is afforded, so I am mindful that my experience isn’t the only one to consider as a member of this community.”
The Police Commission, which advises the City Council, cannot make policy decisions on its own — a fact commissioners emphasized during their Tuesday meeting. Continue reading “Panel Gathering BPD-Related Topics for Discussion”