Fresno’s new Police Reform Commission is 30 days into its 90 day timeline to produce a list of recommendations on police reform to the city. On Wednesday, some of its members provided an update to the Communities for a New California Education Fund.
Ashley Rojas is the executive director of Barrios Unidos, a youth organization in Fresno. She told about 55 audience members on Facebook Live that the commission is a chance for communities of color to redefine the meaning of safety in their neighborhoods.
“I think it’s important to be observant that in wealthy, affluent communities it is the absence of police that communicates safety,” Rojas said. “Whereas we have been conditioned to believe in our community, safety means policing, because we have an absence of safe housing and safe recreational spaces.”
Rojas said the commission has created four subcommittees: community development, community input, police budget and police tactics. She’s on the community development committee.
“We are tasked with developing community owned alternatives to police to cultivate safety. And so this looks like early prevention, intervention, redirection, reducing recidivism. All of the programs that we know cultivate safety in our community,” Rojas said.
The Fresno Police Reform Commission will meet again on July 27 to discuss funding for these new initiatives, Rojas says. For more information visit the city of Fresno’s YouTube channel.