Virtual Police Town Hall set for Sept. 30

Chief Joe Clark plans to address use of force policy and engage in dialogue with public

The Bainbridge Island Police Department will be holding a virtual town hall at 6 p.m. Sept. 30.

The event was announced and discussed at last week’s City Council study session where police chief Joe Clark talked about giving the local community a chance to address their concerns and ask questions about the department.

“With COVID(-19), we haven’t been able to get out as much and meet with the community so I’m looking at this as an opportunity to introduce myself to the community, talk about my thoughts and observations about the department, and where I see us going,” Clark said. “I want to start looking ahead to 2021. What I’m really looking for is community input to help shape where we should be going. We want to make sure as many folks can participate as possible.”

Clark said the contents of the town hall would involve a presentation about the work the department has done this year, an update on the department’s use of force policy, and leave enough time for the public to engage in dialogue with the chief.

Mayor Leslie Schneider said: “My goal from the beginning was to not have it be public comment but be public dialogue. I think it does help to put out some strong expectations so that there is fairness, and we don’t have a few people dominating the conversation.”

Schneider also addressed the potential topic of defunding police being brought up.

“I would say that topic doesn’t have to be off-limits for this particular town hall, but at the same time, we could look at that topic as sort of gathering people’s concerns and questions about that,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to spend fifty percent of our time talking about defunding the police but it wouldn’t hurt to hear from people about what their concerns are.”

City staff and councilmembers then discussed the formatting of the questions, public comment and dialogue portions of the town hall. Some wanted commenting sections for each topic addressed. Councilmember Kirsten Hytopoulos did not.

“I actually think that will not utilize the time well,” Hytopoulos said. “I think if you break up public comment that much, you won’t get very much with that many transitions. If you want the kind of dialogue that I think people are looking for…I think you need one chunk of public comment… I think someone like the mayor should facilitate the dialogue between the chief and the public.”

Another key point was brought up by councilmember Kol Medina, who questioned the short length of the town hall.

“It strikes me as just not long enough,” he said. “Forty-five minutes for a public Q&A on this topic does not seem long enough, and I really think it needs to be longer.”

More in News

State Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, was one of several Democrats asking Gov. Inslee to lift a ban on COVID-19 restrictions on indoor dining. (Washington State Legislature photo)
Democrats ask Inslee to lift ban on indoor dining

They want to try to scaling back on occupancy before forcing an end to inside service

Blank Unemployment Benefits form
Unemployment fell in October, but new restrictions loom over state economy

It remains to be seen how November’s new restrictions on businesses will… Continue reading

.
Health District confirms 22 new cases of COVID-19 in Kitsap

South Kitsap had 10 of the 22 new cases Sunday

Dave Trageser and Gabrielle McGraw at Sharon Trageser's booth at the Red Plantation. Steve Powell/Bainbridge Island Review photos
BI couple enjoys selling treasures at Poulsbo shop

Dave Trageser has probably provided the city and schools of Bainbridge Island… Continue reading

Courtesy of BISD
BISD tentatively plans to start in-person learning Jan. 25

Grades K-6 would begin Jan 25, 7-12 a week later

KCSO has provided a photo of the suspect vehicle involved in a hit and run in Suquamish.
Man, 75, arrested in hit-and-run fatality

A 75-year-old man has been arrested on Friday Nov. 13 in connection… Continue reading

Courtesy of the BI Winter Studio Tour
BI Winter Studio Tour reinvented

The Bainbridge Island Winter Studio Tour is announcing an online, virtual experience… Continue reading

Kol Medina
BI Council says goodbye to longtime member

The Bainbridge Island City Council gave an at-times emotional sendoff to Kol… Continue reading

Briefs

No meals at club Due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, The Bainbridge… Continue reading

Most Read