Eugene Forum on Police Protocol Shows Community Support for Change
Monday evening the Eugene City Council held a public forum for feedback on proposed changes to policies and practices in the Eugene Police Department.
The proposals come from the Ad Hoc Committee on Police Policy report addressing use of force, oversight, and other policies.
Thirty-two community members spoke. Most asked the council to immediately put all the proposed changes into action. Ad Hoc Committee member Marty Wilder encouraged urgency.
“Please don’t wait for bad things to happen to change bad policy,” Wilder said. “As long as there’s a possibility for police to abuse their power, justify prejudice or get away with criminal behavior, then it needs to change.”
Several people gave personal testimonies of their negative interactions with Eugene police. Others recommended diverting funding to non-police organizations like CAHOOTS, and to commit to long-term change.
One citizen spoke against the proposed changes, saying the Ad Hoc Committee and the council do not understand the police force well enough to propose the changes.
The next city council meeting and forum on this topic will be on July 26.