BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Calls for police reform are echoing throughout cities nationwide. In response to local reaction, Bakersfield's city manager and police department said they are working to meet the expectations of the community.
"I came to the City of Bakersfield with the knowledge that community engagement would be important, and that ongoing work with our police department to build the community's trust in the department would be critical," said Bakersfield City Manager Christian Clegg.
Clegg said in response to calls for reform, the city will work to provide more information in the coming weeks regarding police policies. The city will be releasing information, answers and outlining a process for inviting community leaders to discuss these topics with the Chief of Police.
We will partner with our community & make every effort to ensure that our policies are aligned with the best possible practices to keep our community safe. In an effort to build & maintain trust & transparency, we want to clarify where we are now on these important issues. pic.twitter.com/EgT6NK2zzZ— Bakersfield Police (@bakersfieldpd) June 19, 2020
"We are listening and will be posting public content on the Bakersfield Police Department website to acknowledge this feedback and to begin providing answers to the questions and requests," Clegg said.
The department has already released its first response outlining its policies.
Part of the outline describes the Bakersfield Police Department's ban on chokeholds and strangleholds, requiring a warning before shooting, banning shooting at moving vehicles, and requiring comprehensive reporting.
"Our goal as a police department is to partner with the community to protect the lives and property of the people we serve," the department said.