Published : Saturday, February 2, 2019 | 5:44 AM
Pasadena City Manager Steve Mermell and Pasadena Police Chief John Perez, who was named in December as the City’s new police chief after serving as interim chief since April 2018, will be discussing policing in Pasadena and other City policies during the new “Let’s Learn, Let’s Talk” community forum on Thursday, February 7, at the Alkebulan African Center at 1435 N. Raymond Avenue, from 6 to 9 p.m.
“Let’s Learn, Let’s Talk” is organized by Pasadenans Organizing for Progress (POP!), in coordination with the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance (IMA), NAACP Pasadena Branch, and the Coalition for Increased Civilian Oversight of the Pasadena Police (CICOPP).
The forum on Thursday is the fourth of a series of conversations with members of the community and Pasadena Police Department. The ongoing forum series is intended to provide a bridge and space for open and honest dialogue between residents and city leadership.
At the previous forums, community stakeholders first requested frontline officers, followed by senior officers and union representatives. This next forum will be with the decision and policymakers.
Videographer and commentator James Farr, who hosts the Facebook Live series “The Conversation Live,” will be moderating the forum, with Dr. Eshelle Williams, a licensed marriage-family-child counselor, will be facilitating the community feedback session.
“These forums are an opportunity for residents, business owners, and people who work in Pasadena to have an authentic learning opportunity with City officials who set the tone and culture for our community,” Farr said. “I have a good understanding of how most residents feel and what their experiences are with law enforcement, I’m aiming to unpack the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of policies and policing.”
Florence Annang, one of the organizers from the POP! Executive Board, said the decision to have community leaders on the forum “is intended to foster dialogue, promote cooperation, and help citizens and our city leadership to renew community relations.”
“We need these spaces to hear and wrestle with these tough issues and get back to knowing one another,” Annang said.
The forum would particularly be of benefit for all Pasadena and Altadena residents, the organizers said.