Please review the major highlights below to see what we’ve been up to in the last two weeks. If you have questions or comments, please use the space provided below or email us directly at email@example.com.
We will host our first virtual Town Hall on Tuesday, July 21 to help all members of the CS family better understand our “why,” celebrate our successes to date, hear from ACLU reps and learn how you can get more involved on the frontlines. Please remember to submit your questions ahead of time to us at firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on Monday, July 20. We’ll also answer questions live during the Q&A segment.
Please note: We’ll also stream it live to our Facebook page so it can be stored and available to watch on-demand.
Follow Up Meetings with Law Enforcement Teams
The Board of Directors had meetings in the last two weeks with local law enforcement to discuss our goals for police reform in Cecil County and determine how best we can begin to address immediate concerns with gaps in existing policies and procedures.
Meeting 1: On Wednesday, July 8, the Board of Directors met with Sheriff Adams and Chief Deputy Widdoes of the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office where we discussed a variety of topics including the development of a civilian oversight board, the need for stronger crisis services partnerships, preventive measures, random mental health and stress screenings, the current pre-trial program and a Town Hall meeting.
Next steps: Sheriff Adams agreed that a Town Hall meeting with the CS community would be helpful in helping provide a greater level of transparency. We have since reached out to set up a date and time and will share more information on this when it becomes available.
Meeting 2: On Thursday, July 16, the Board of Directors and Chair of our Policy Development Committee, Joe Riedel, met with Chief Donnelly, Captain Zurolo, and Lieutenants Waldridge and Allen. During the meeting, we discussed a variety of topics including:
- What they are currently doing to be more transparent with the Elkton community
- Current training requirements and identification of existing gaps in training including the need for PTSD/job-related stress trainings
- Random psychological and drug screenings
- Diversity among the police force
- Banning strangleholds and chokeholds
EPD Police Officers Video Update
As promised, we also discussed the incident where one of their police officers posted a disturbing video sharing her views on the current state of affairs, and in particular, her thoughts on the punishment handed down to Officer Garrett Rolfe for killing Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta a few weeks ago. This video went viral and many of you saw it and have expressed your concerns about the contents over the last few weeks. Chief Donnelly and team stated that they spoke to her about the video in question, asked her if she needed some form of support, and she declined the need for further help. They’ve determined that there’s no need for further action at this time.
Next steps: To help implement a true community policing model, we have asked that the Chief and his team consider partnering with us to do Town Halls throughout the year for the CS family and the Elkton community. Chief Donnelly also stated that he would be sending his draft policy to ban strangleholds and chokeholds to his lawyer for review and implementation right away.
We will follow up on both of these topics and will provide an update as soon as we have more information.
Requests to join the Community Engagement Committee, the Education Committee and the Voter Engagement Committee and the Book Discussion Group have been posted. Please click these respective links to apply and or learn more today.
- Reimaging Community Safety and Policing Virtual Workshop: Friday, July 17 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
- North East Roadside Protest: Sunday, July 19 – North East Library parking lot and in-town NE @ 11:00 a.m.
- Ibram X. Kendi on “How to Be an Antiracist” Virtual Book Discussion: Monday, July 20 from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
- Cecil Solidarity Virtual Town Hall: Tuesday, July 21 from 6:30 – 8:00