Daily Camera (Boulder)

Ap­pli­ca­tions open for mas­ter plan subcom­mit­tee

- By Deb­o­rah Swearin­gen Minnesota · Boulder · Naropa University · Boulder City

Boul­der is search­ing for two peo­ple to serve with Mayor Pro Tem Bob Yates and Coun­cilmem­ber Ju­nie Joseph on the Boul­der Po­lice Depart­ment’s mas­ter plan process subcom­mit­tee.

Rather than help­ing the depart­ment de­velop its mas­ter plan, com­mit­tee mem­bers in­stead will play a role in de­vel­op­ing the mas­ter plan­ning process and work­ing to en­gage the pub­lic and en­sure the com­mu­nity un­der­stands how the plan­ning process works.

“The whole com­mu­nity, as well as City Coun­cil, (are) go­ing to get an op­por­tu­nity to give in­put into mas­ter plan con­tent and how those pri­or­i­ties are de­vel­oped,” Wendy Schwartz said. “This par­tic­u­lar subcom­mit­tee is fo­cused on process.”

Schwartz, who works in Boul­der’s hous­ing and hu­man ser­vices depart­ment, is serv­ing as the Boul­der Po­lice Depart­ment mas­ter plan project man­ager.

She said the city hopes to at­tract di­verse voices and that any per­son with ex­pe­ri­ence in de­vel­op­ing pro­cesses could be an as­set. Schwartz called it a twoway in­for­ma­tion stream, mean­ing the com­mit­tee mem­bers will be dis­cussing the pro­cesses as a group but then also must go out into the com­mu­nity and share what’s been dis­cussed.

“We want them to be ad­vis­ing the city on the right way to en­gage peo­ple in the com­mu­nity, and at the same time, we want them to be able to talk to peo­ple in the com­mu­nity about the mas­ter plan pro­cesses and how they can plug in and give in­put,” she said.

The Boul­der Po­lice Depart­ment’s mas­ter plan was last up­dated in 2013, and Schwartz said it’s due for an up­date.

Ac­cord­ing to ear­lier re­port­ing by the Cam­era, the city’s over­haul of its lo­cal po­lice over­sight sys­tem be­gan last year af­ter a con­fronta­tion be­tween a now-for­mer Boul­der po­lice of­fi­cer and Zayd Atkin­son, a Black Naropa Univer­sity stu­dent who was pick­ing up trash out­side his stu­dent hous­ing. The of­fi­cer, John Smyly, re­peat­edly asked Atkin­son for proof of his res­i­dency at the build­ing. When Atkin­son re­fused and con­tin­ued to pick up rub­bish with a metal tool, Smyly called for backup, told Atkin­son he was ob­struct­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer and pulled his stun gun and hand­gun. The in­ci­dent, cap­tured on widely cir­cu­lated video, made lo­cal and na­tional head­lines for weeks.

Smyly was found to have vi­o­lated depart­ment pol­icy and re­signed with a city sev­er­ance pack­age, al­though an in­de­pen­dent re­view found no ev­i­dence of racial pro­fil­ing. Atkin­son later reached a $125,000 set­tle­ment with the city.

In­ci­dents such as this one in Boul­der and Ge­orge Floyd’s death in Min­nesota have con­tin­ued a na­tion­wide push for po­lice over­sight and re­form.

“There’s changes just in the world of polic­ing, and there’s also ob­vi­ously a lot of changes with lo­cal and na­tional con­cern about po­lice re­form,” Schwartz said. ‘It’s re­ally a good time to have an in-depth ex­am­i­na­tion of the com­mu­nity needs and how the po­lice depart­ment re­sources are be­ing uti­lized.”

Sarah Hunt­ley, spokesper­son for the city, agreed with Schwartz.

“I think the future of polic­ing is an im­por­tant is­sue to a lot of com­mu­nity mem­bers and re­cent events cer­tainly make it all the

more im­por­tant,” she said.

“We want to make sure that we’re get­ting a di­verse set of voices and per­spec­tives so that the po­lice depart­ment can be meet­ing the needs of the whole com­mu­nity,” Hunt­ley added.

The city asks those who wish to ap­ply for the subcom­mit­tee to an­swer the fol­low­ing ques­tions:

•Why do you want to be on the Po­lice Mas­ter Plan

Process Subcom­mit­tee?

•Which com­mu­nity groups and pop­u­la­tions do you have re­la­tion­ships with and how would you act as an am­bas­sador to those groups to help them en­gage with the Po­lice Depart­ment Mas­ter Plan process?

•What par­tic­u­lar/spe­cial ex­per­tise or ex­pe­ri­ence would you bring to the Po­lice Mas­ter Plan Process Subcom­mit­tee?

•Would you be avail­able dur­ing the sched­uled Po­lice Mas­ter Plan Process Subcom­mit­tee meet­ings on the sec­ond Thurs­day of each month from 2 to 3 p.m.?

Those who are in­ter­ested should email an­swers to Bpdpro­cess­sub­com­mit­tee @boul­der­col­orado.gov by 5 p.m. Oct. 22. Ap­pli­ca­tions will be dis­cussed in the subcom­mit­tee meet­ing on Nov. 5 and again in the Nov. 10 Boul­der City Coun­cil meet­ing.

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