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Bloomington To Create Two New Racial Equality Task Forces

Protesters gather outside the Monroe County Courthouse at the June 5 "Enough is Enough" Protest.

Community residents voiced their support for reform of local law enforcement bodies during several protests this past summer. (Payton Knobeloch)

The City of Bloomington is appointing two resident-led task forces to improve racial equality

“During this very challenging year, the COVID pandemic and ongoing violence against Black people have spotlighted racial inequity in our country,” Mayor John Hamilton said in a press release. “Many in our community have been advancing social justice and racial equity for years, in the face of systemic racism."

The new Racial Equity Task Force and the Future of Policing Task Force are aimed at addressing both the long and short-term issues within the community's law enforcement bodies.

The city said these task forces will review policies, practices, and procedures through the lens of racial justice to create an optimal vision of law enforcement for the greater Bloomington community.

"This group will comprise representatives of each of the jurisdictions covered by the participating law enforcement agencies--the Bloomington Police Department, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, and the Indiana University Police Department," a city press release said. 

City staff and council members also will be encouraged to participate in a racial impact assessment, which includes de-escalation, anti-racism, and implicit bias training.

The assessment also looks at developing an anti-racism tool kit for small businesses and a review of purchasing processes to increase equity for minority-owned businesses. 

"The City will support the community’s efforts with these two new task forces, led and directed by residents, and also work to further the other proposals contained in the Plan to Advance Racial Equity," Hamilton said.

Residents interested in serving on either of these task forces should contact Beverly Calender-Anderson at andersb@bloomington.in.gov or at (812)349-3560.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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