August Pleasant Hill Mayor's Message
Jul 31, 2016 07:26PM
● By Sue Noack
Sue Noack, Pleasant Hill Mayor
Show Support and Get to Know Your Police Officers
On August 2, Pleasant Hill will be participating in the annual National Night Out at City Hall. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live.
It is with a heavy heart I think about all the senseless deaths we have experienced in this country and abroad. We are extremely lucky to have a great police force that continues to be focused on working partnerships with residents and businesses in Pleasant Hill. The mission of the police department is to provide the highest level of professional police service to all members of the community. They are committed to the impartial and lawful resolution of problems. They seek to ensure a quality of life that allows residents and visitors to feel safe and are constantly striving to build and maintain the public’s trust.
The Pleasant Hill Police Department provides training to all our officers in accordance with the standards set by the California Commission of Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST). Every police officer must complete over 1000 hours of POST Academy Training, which includes 19 hours of cultural diversity/racial profiling training. State law also mandates that all officers must complete 5 hours of racial and cultural diversity training every five years. In addition, we are in the process of sending all officers to Crisis Intervention Training (CIT). Although the program is not specifically designed to address cultural diversity, the instruction includes how to de-escalate crisis situations and how to reduce the necessity for use of force.
Our police have taken a couple of steps in the last year to further their partnerships in the community. They have been more actively participating in community events, interacting with participants and ensuring that we feel they are part of us. Please feel free to introduce yourself to them. The better we get to know each other, the stronger the community.
The police officers have also been participating more at our schools. Each school has been assigned an officer and, during the school year, they will be stopping by the school for at least thirty minutes a week. This will allow younger members of our community to get to know our police officers; to know that they are there to protect and serve, not just to respond to a crisis, and to interact with them in a positive way. In many ways, it’s all about building trust and respect between our police officers and youth.
I do want to thank our community for its strong support of the Pleasant Hill Police Department. After the horrific shooting of the Dallas police officers, an outpouring of support was shown to our officers. Many people dropped by the Police Department to bring food and other items. One generous citizen dropped by the Sirens Sandwich Shop, leaving $200 to cover sandwiches for any police officer that stopped in. What a wonderful demonstration of the strength of this community.
I hope you all will continue this support by stopping by on August 2 at National Night Out in Pleasant Hill, which takes place on the lawn at City Hall from 6:00 to 8:00pm. There will be kids’ entertainment and free food and beverages for everyone. See you there!