LETTERS: A few tips for new Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson

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EDITOR: As a former resident of Aurora, the wife of a former Police Chief from Massachusetts, a teacher, a mother, and a concerned citizen who read the Sentinel article on the mishandling of children in a mistaken car theft incident, I have three messages for Chief Wilson:

CONGRATULATIONS! You are taking on a huge task at a difficult time in our country’s history. I wish you all the best.

DIVERSIFY. Your police force needs to mirror the community you are serving and protecting. 40% of Aurora’s population is Black, Latino, Asian or Native American. Yet there is not one person of color in the photo posted on your FB page two days ago (tactical team receiving trauma kits), and only two people of color in the photo on the auroragov.org page.

Focus on COMMUNITY POLICING. If yesterday’s incident is an example of the way the force handles uncertain situations, they need more training in community policing, antiracism and unconscious biases. Officers on the force and coming into the force should be screened carefully, including psychological tests that look for racism, sexism and unconscious biases. Here is a good, free test on implicit social attitudes that might help you focus your training: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/

I urge Chief Wilson to act on these tips and to strive for a strong, caring, community-oriented police force that treats all citizens equally.

— C. Hobbs, via [email protected]