As a reminder that Black Lives Matter and that we, as a community, need to do more to push that sentiment and we need to do more to ensure that our public safety, regardless of how great we think they are, get the appropriate training to handle what should be routine interactions with the public.
Unless, of course, you’re City Council candidate Jennifer Roloff who would argue, in response to a question about the issues at the heart of the Black Lives Matter discussion, that:
It’s very relevant to what is going on today in neighboring cities. I think we’re fortunate enough not to have an exacerbated similar situation, but I think that we do absolutely need to partner with our neighboring communities to make sure that we’re cognizant of the risks that could come to the city and being prepared for such issues.
I don’t think that Alamedans have to feel the protection of police yet but what’s going on out there I think that we need to start being prepared. We should work with our public safety to get better prepared for what could happen.
As to the equipment that is out there I do know that we have Navy equipment that we can rely on and Alameda does have some of its own equipment and I do know we end up loaning it out to other nearby cities, but I think we should work with those nearby cities so that we can capitalize on the equipment that they have to have as much preparedness as possible.
The solution, according to this candidate, to the question of how to make Alamedans feel protected and not harassed is, apparently, more equipment and not training in de-escalation tactics or sensitivity training, etc.
I know a lot of people will chalk this up to Jennifer Roloff not being an experienced politician and not being able to finesse an appropriate answer, but I’m guessing that there are lot of non politicians out there that have followed this issue and could give a cogent answer as to what we should expect of our local public safety when it comes to routine interactions with the public.
You don’t have to be a politician to know what is right, and you don’t have to be a politician to know that what is routinely happening to unarmed Black people in the United States is wrong.. It takes policy from our elected leaders to ensure that it doesn’t happen in our community, but first there has to be an understanding that this is a serious issue that requires more substance than someone who ran for City Council on a whim because she didn’t understand how RFPs work.