Law Enforcement Forum

Law Enforcement Forum

The panel for law enforcement was all white and the panel presenting the questions was all black. Several of the questions presumed prejudice on the part of the authorities because of their race. However, the part of the forum that everyone should take to heart is Chief Stanbridge’s statement that the safety of the community has to rest on the community as a first line of defense. At the time most crime is committed, he has less than 50 officers on duty. {{more}} The fire department manning standards driven by insurance regulations have almost 100 firemen on duty 24/7. Our community has not, and financially cannot provide enough officers to respond instantly to a citizen in trouble. Charts and figures showed that our law enforcement community is trying to protect all citizens. There are admitted problems of disproportionality with no easy and maybe, simply no answers without completely changing multiple cultures.One expressed concern from both panels was the continuing lack of minorities in law enforcement in our community. Both panels had no quick, clear answer on how to solve the problem or even why there is a problem. We need to encourage minority youth to consider a law enforcement career. Alan Paige of the Purple People Eaters football front four spoke here several years ago and his comment about why did he want to be a Supreme Court Justice in Minnesota still rings true “I want there to be a black face on the court bench. I may still end up sending a black man to prison but they will go knowing there was someone on the bench that understood them.”Questions for the forum were requested from the community and wide invitations sent out. We had the 20-30 community leaders that almost always participate, but really needed is 200 – 1500 people to come and learn more of how our community is governed.