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Assuring the safety of all of its residents is one of the primary goals of local government. It is my priority over the next four years to—

  1. Stay on top of all recommendations from the BerryDunn report and oversee implementation of them

  2. Support non-policing policies and interventions that will reduce the root causes of crime

  3. Support the construction of an updated police facility to replace the unsafe and unhealthy workplace currently used and 

  4. Make sure our officers feel supported in their stressful jobs so they can focus on violent crime.


What I will not do is push for policies that have been shown to have no effect on crime reduction, including hiring more officers and placing more surveillance cameras around the village. 

Feeling safe from violence is a basic human right, and we need our police department, under the leadership of Chief Shatonya Johnson, to protect us from violent crime. And everyone in our village deserves to feel safe, even those who have experienced violence not from criminals but from the policing system. So let’s do everything we can to make sure our community is safe for all. 

While the Oak Park police department has not been involved in a heinous act of violence - it is nevertheless a full-fledged member of a system and culture that has wrought and continues to wreak horrible injustices on people of color. So it is a reasonable and some would say necessary endeavor to make sure our police department is doing everything it can to prevent racist policing practices and habits. That is why in the summer of 2020 I asked for an assessment from an outside entity to evaluate our village’s policing. My goal was to receive recommendations that would move our police department into a new paradigm of community safety. Clearly, the majority of the village board didn’t agree with the degree to which I hoped we could change. And I accept that and understand the reasons why. The village did indeed hire a consultant group, BerryDunn Associates, who spent a year on their assessment. Their recommendations fall short of the paradigm shift that I had hoped for (and which would require systemic level change in our entire society in general) however, the following are some of the recommendations in the 273-page BerryDunn report that I support:

  1. Improve data collection on traffic stops and other police activities. This is necessary to track interactions or practices that may be biased by race/ethnicity or other reasons. 

  2. Update unsafe police facility in the basement of Village Hall.

  3. Better documentation of resident complaints.

  4. Develop a comprehensive alternative call-for-service plan for non-urgent issues and mental health calls.

  5. Pursue a collaborative model that involves the community in police decision-making.

  6. Empower the Community Police Oversight Commission to monitor investigations of police misconduct, staff accountability and transparency.

  7. Establish a DEI committee within the police dept.

  8. Change its approach to responding to “suspicious activity.”

  9. Restrict the use of pretext stops unless there are specific, documented facts to expand the scope of the stop.

  10. Adjust ordinances to remove disproportional impact on marginalized populations.

Let’s Work Together

Get in touch to help ensure this remains a priority for the Village of Oak Park.  Join my campaign. 

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