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MARIN COUNTY'S NEWS MONTHLY - FREE PRESS
(415)868-1600 - (415)868-0502(fax) - P.O. Box 31, Bolinas, CA, 94924

 

Public Hearings on Police and Community
Sponsored by the Marin Empowerment Council


   The Marin Empowerment Council, a coalition of individuals and other organizations concerned with law enforcement issues throughout the county, is sponsoring a public hearing to help assess how law enforcement interacts with the public in their communities and in detention facilities.
    The members of the Council recognize that law enforcement plays a vital role in our communities; that the vast majority of interactions with residents and visitors are handled professionally and with respect. The hearing will be held on Wed., Feb. 9, 2005 from 7:#0-9:#0 at the Marin County Office of Education, 1111 Las Galinas Rd., San Rafael.
    However some of our members and others in the community have had the occasion to be left angry and confused by what appears to be instances of unwarranted intrusion and/or abuse by a few officers.  On these occasions they have been frustrated by their inability to find out whether any action was taken against those they feel were responsible for the abuse because of laws preventing law enforcement administrators from releasing disciplinary information.
    These hearings are being held to assess:
   1) How law enforcement  agencies work to maintain a cooperative relationship with the communities they serve.
   2) How law enforcement agencies address complaints of unwarranted intrusion or abuse by their officers. 3) Whether individuals who feel they have been abused by law enforcement are making complaints, and if not, why not.
   4) What policies or procedures individual law enforcement agencies can implement to better serve the community and those who feel they have been victims of unwarranted intrusion or abuse.
   5) to examine whether there is a need for additional resources and/ or structures to improve relations between law enforcement agencies and the community.
   6) To examine what role the Empowerment Council can play in improving the interaction between police and the community. The Hearing Panel will include representatives of the United States Department of Justice, the California Department of Justice, Local Law Enforcement, and
Marin County based organizations serving people who have contact with law enforcement.
    If you wish to testify or serve on the hearing panel, then leave your number at Legal Aid of Marin (415) 492-0230, and ask that Roy Chernus of the Empowerment Council contact you and put you on the agenda. While everyone will be encouraged to relate his or her experience, the facilitator will discourage confrontational behavior. 

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