In an effort to put citizens in an advisory role to “provide recommendations to the Police Department on public safety-related issues”, the Renton Police Department is starting a Chief’s Community Council and is now accepting member applications until 5 p.m. on Friday, August 12.
The CCC will advice police in ways that will improve unbiased services from Renton law enforcement, crime prevention, relationsips between the community and police and also “enhanced transparency from the Renton Police Department.”
From the charter agreement, the CCC and Renton’s police department will “identify safety issues and collaborate with community leaders, local organizations, and stakeholders to create practical and effective solutions and equitable community policing practices.”
Establishing the CCC has been in the works for a while, said Renton Communications and Engagement Coordinator Cyndie Morris. “I think it’s always been something we wanted to do and it’s been on police chief Jon Schuldt’s list of what he’s wanted to do. He really feels that there’s a need for a true reflection of our community,” Morris said.
Criteria for being a CCC member is to be a resident or to work within Renton city limits, or to have some kind of connection to the city. Members must also commit to at least two years of service, though students are only required to commit to one year. Members must also attend 75 percent of the scheduled quarterly meetings.
When submitting the application, there must be a review and acknowledgement of the community council charter and a letter of interest.
Ideally, the council will be represented by Renton citizens from diverse vectors. This includes students age 16 to 23, Renton school district employees, those who are 55 years of age and older, representatives of the business community, church or faith-based organizations, the LGBTQIA+ community, the disabled community and former or retired members of law enforcement.
Representation from the city’s various racial communities, based on the current Renton census data, is also a priority. From the charter agreement, this includes Asian-American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African-American, Hispanic, Latino or Spanish, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander and white.
The size of the CCC may be limited and will not exceed 25 members, according to the charter agreement. The Chief of Police and local community leaders have also selected a steering committee that will oversee the purpose, mission and vision of the CCC. Morris said that the steering committee includes members of that community, like people from the Salvation Army, Renton Technical College members, a pastor, and a beauty salon owner.
The application and more information can be found on the City of Renton website while further questions can be emailed to Commander Dan Figaro at firstname.lastname@example.org.