As part of an effort to evaluate the city’s policing model, the City of Belmont is inviting residents to participate in an online public safety listening forum on Wednesday, July 15, at 6 p.m.
“The goal of the forum is to listen to the community about the existing perceptions and experiences with the Belmont Police Department and the department’s interactions with the community,” according to a city statement. “This input will help guide the city’s efforts to advance policies and procedures that ensure safety and equity for all in Belmont.”
Residents are invited to speak about their experiences during the public forum or in the form of an email prior to the meeting. Personal interviews can be scheduled with councilmembers.
The forum is occurring in the wake of the killing of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody on May 25, an incident that sparked nationwide protesting against policy brutality along with calls for significant police reform. On June 9, the council created a subcommittee in partnership with the Belmont Police Department to “understand the health impacts of law enforcement on the community,” according to city documents.
Councilmembers Davina Hurt and Julia Mates, who serve on the subcommittee, will participate in the July 15 forum along with Chief of Police Tony Psaila and City Manager Afshin Oskoui.
After collecting community input, the committee “will then review protocols, explore experiences of the public and work with the police department to support a forward-thinking public safety services aligned with community needs including civic engagement, partnerships, and public education to improve policing, health, and public safety,” the city said.
To schedule a personal interview with Councilmembers Hurt and Mates, contact Belmont City Hall at 650-595-7408. To provide oral comments during the meeting, register in advance on the city’s website. Send comments by email to PSSC@belmont.gov in advance of the forum to be included in the written record.
Watch or listen to the Livestream: The city is streaming the forum live on Comcast channel 27, and the city website and via Zoom Webinar: https://zoom.us/j/92208312466. Participants can also listen live by calling 1-669-900-6833. Webinar ID: 922 0831 2466
Photo credit: City of Belmont