FORT COLLINS- After widespread protests over police brutality and calls for reform, Fort Collins City Council is creating a special council committee to make policy and funding recommendations targeting equality in Fort Collins policing.
The ad hoc committee will be made up of council members Julie Pignataro, Emily Gorgol and Susan Gutowsky. Gorgol was the council member who requested that council create the special committee.
Council members have received hundreds of emails from community members and people outside Fort Collins asking them to review police use-of-force and accountability policies, council email records show.
Many of the emails cite ongoing and recently settled Fort Collins Police Services lawsuits that involve excessive force claims. People have also been questioning the Fort Collins Police Services budget and asking council members to reduce funding to police in favor of funding for social services.
Dozens of people have also taken to public comment at recent council meetings to ask for change, and Fort Collins residents have and continue to hold protests at FCPS headquarters, City Park, Old Town and other areas.
The goals of the ad hoc committee will be to:
- Determine the best way to achieve a safe community for all.
- Provide recommendations to council for the 2021 budget cycle.
- Review Police Department higher-level performance indicators.
The committee might also look at sponsoring a community conversation about systemic racism in Fort Collins, with help from Colorado State University’s Center for Public Deliberation. And they’ll review citizen requests to consider changing the names of streets such as Pitkin Street and Custer Drive.
Pitkin Street may be associated with former Colorado Gov. Frederick Pitkin, whose 1878 campaign slogan was “The Utes Must Go!” He was instrumental in forcing the Ute Native Americans from their land.
Jacy Marmaduke for the Coloradoan