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Action Plan Surrounding Racial Equity
 
Posted on Monday August 24, 2020
 
The City will host a series of worksessions in the next several months to review a variety of police policies and data related to recent community conversations about use of force, standards of conduct and how those relate to racial equity. Please join us.
 

City of Mission Action Plan Surrounding Racial Equity

Worksession on Related Policies and Data
August 26, 2020 - 6:30 p.m. (Virtual)

Meeting Agenda and Packet
Meeting recording
A discussion of Mission Police Department policies related to use of force, transparency (e.g., right to film), racial profiling, duty to intervene, de-escalation, and others that have generated questions over the past few months. We will share specific data on the Department’s use of force, complaints received (including investigation process), and demographic statistics reflective of Department activity over the last ten (10 years). As part of this conversation, we will determine how the data and statistics will be reported to the Council and the public going forward with respect to frequency and format.

Worksession on Police Hiring and Training, Accountability and Transparency
September 2, 2020 - 7:30 p.m. (Virtual)

We will review and discuss the hiring processes and the training requirements for Mission’s Police Officers. We will also review and discuss existing processes, systems, and structures which exist at the City, the County and State levels which promote accountability and transparency in law enforcement, and how to make information on the same more readily available to the public. Accountability is an important value for the entire organization, from the Mayor and Council to each and every employee who represents Mission. While a specific review of the accountability measures associated with law enforcement will serve as the starting point, the expectations and discussions will extend throughout the organization - top to bottom across all departments.

Independent oversight and review boards are part of the larger conversation occurring around conversations related to accountability. During the September meeting, we will present information on how other communities in the metro area are using these boards and their potential advantages and disadvantages in Mission.

Meeting Materials and Slide Presentation (pdf)
Meeting Recording (Topic begins at 44:30)


October 2020 (Date and Location TBD)

We will host a community forum in October 2020 to open a dialogue surrounding attitudes and opinions concerning racial (in)equity issues in Mission as it relates to law enforcement, housing, education, access to services or other issues. The goal of the forum would be to listen to understand and to build relationships of trust with communities whose voice may have gone unrepresented or underrepresented in our considerations. The community forum would be the beginning of a dialogue that we would work to sustain on an ongoing basis.

 

Ongoing Work and Commitment

 
In addition to the meetings in August, September and October, the City will be implementing ongoing training and education for our elected officials and all employees related to implicit bias, race and inequity. We are committed to embracing conversations around these sensitive issues. In order to enhance a culture of equity and inclusiveness that recognizes the humanity and dignity of every person, we must be willing to put in the work. Training is just the first step, and application of the knowledge will become the true test of the effectiveness of our efforts. There is a lot of research and data review that must be done, but we are excited about the journey.



City Council Statement

Immediately following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Mayor Ron Appletoft and Chief of Police Ben Hadley issued a joint statement condemning of the actions of the Minneapolis officers and reminding our community that this incident was:


“a painful reminder that fighting against racial inequity and social injustice in our communities must continually be a high priority. As local government leaders and public safety professionals, we have a responsibility to the people in our city, not only to keep them safe, but also to keep the lines of communication open so that concerns and issues can be addressed in ways where all voices are heard and understood.”


But the statement by the Mayor and Chief is not the end of Mission’s commitment to this work. It is the beginning. In June and July, the Governing Body and staff met on several occasions to review and discuss an action plan for the coming months and beyond. That call to action is described above, and a joint statement from the eight members of the Mission City Council is as follows:


The recent protests and outcry in response to the senseless and unnecessary death of George Floyd have highlighted the ongoing need for dialogue and action surrounding issues of race and inequity in our communities. We sadly must acknowledge that systemic racism remains an entrenched problem across the United States, including, but by no means limited to, in policing. As local elected leaders, it is incumbent upon us to stand with those demanding accountability, equity and respect to recognize the humanity and dignity of every person. And as such we state unequivocally that Black Lives Matter. We join Mayor Appletoft and Chief Hadley in condemning the unjustified murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, and further condemn all acts of racial profiling, use of excessive force, and any other means of racial violence, wherever and whenever they occur.


The Mission City Council, Mission City Staff and the Mission Police Department acknowledge that we are not immune from implicit bias, and understand that in order to advocate for racial justice, equity, and inclusion it will require an inward look at our own actions as City Councilmembers and how we govern. We also recognize that this reflection must be ongoing and may introduce us to uncomfortable or unfamiliar conversations, but we are ready to commit to this work.


We stand ready and willing to begin the process of educating ourselves through a comprehensive and ongoing review of policies, practices, and sustained dialogue to ensure that all members of our community are protected equally, and we extend an open invitation to everyone in the community to join with us in this important work.


Hillary Parker Thomas         Arcie Rothrock   Debbie Kring Sollie Flora

Trent Boultinghouse     Nick Schlossmacher Kristin Inman Ken Davis


More than any of the statements or condemnations, Mission’s leaders felt it was important to develop specific action steps and commit to a timeline for continuing these conversations with the larger community. The plan outlined above was agreed upon at the July 2020 City Council meeting. Please check back to the website for updated information as these conversations begin. We invite you to join us for any and all of the meetings as your schedule allows, and we look forward to the work we will do together moving forward.

 
City of Mission
6090 Woodson    Mission, KS 66202    |    City Hall: 913-676-8350    |    Community Center: 913-722-8200    |   Emergency: 911
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