Redwood City community meeting to discuss public safety services, budgets

in Community

Redwood City Mayor Diane Howard and Vice Mayor Giselle Hale will host a community meeting on public safety services and budgets via Zoom on Thursday at 5 p.m.

Residents can register here to take part in the meeting, which will also be recorded and available for public viewing.

“At this meeting, we will share information about the fire and police department’s programs, service calls, budget and staffing history, and anticipated goals for Fiscal Year 2021-22,” the city said. “Additionally, staff will review the process for reimagining services and community engagement on the budget during Fiscal Year 2021-22.”

The meeting is among the outreach efforts by the city to respond to community demands for police reform following the killing of George Floyd by former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020. Today, Chauvin was found guilty by a jury of murder in the second and third degrees, as well as second-degree manslaughter, in connection with the police brutality case that prompted nationwide calls for change.

Redwood City has thus far responded to those calls on a number of fronts. Early on, the city endorsed the Obama Foundation Mayor’s Pledge to review and reform police policies via a community engagement process, and increased the frequency of racial and cultural diversity training for city police from every five years to every two years.  The city is also moving forward on a county partnership to send a mental health clinician in tandem with police officers to incidents involving individuals suffering from a mental or behavioral health crisis. It has also hired its first Equity and Inclusion Officer to ensure all city services are provided through an equity lens.

Recently, the city launched budget data dashboards for both its police and fire departments.

“You will be able to explore expenses for the departments by division, compare budgeted numbers with actual expenses and see how expenses compare year over year,” the city said.

View other police department information, such as staffing levels, demographics and promotions, by visiting here. View budgets of all other city departments by visiting here.