SANTA ROSA FIRST RESPONDERS
I support our first responders, especially law enforcement officers, in these turbulent times but I also have compassion for those that are struggling.
The “Cahoots” program from Oregon, that Santa Rosa is exploring, sounds like a promising idea. In that program a nurse and mental health expert would go to non-violent police calls to assist and de-escalate those with mental illness and other non-violent issues. This way the police are left out of mental health calls more and can focus on public safety and violent crimes. I support the idea of Cahoots, as do many officers I have spoken with.
As for blanket defunding, I am against it. I certainly do not want to adversely affect any operation budgets without a thorough review and understanding of their needs.
I am not against the suggested ideas of stronger officer vetting at the hiring stage, more de escalation training, and additional sensibility/empathy training. Frankly, we could all probably use more education in these areas.
I am encouraged by the Open Government Sunshine Ordinance, public safety subcommittee, and violence prevention partnership in that we will get to a place where every Community member feels safe and protected.
When elected, I look forward to working with First Responders and enabling them with the support they need to make any needed department corrections necessary to better serve all members of our very diverse community. These are extremely difficult, stressful, life-on-the-line, jobs,-- especially for our law enforcement officers, and I am extremely grateful to anyone that steps-up for the community in this capacity.