FCPS announces plan for new community advisory group
In October 2020, Fort Collins Police Services began a major strategic planning process to better align agency efforts with the needs of the community. During this process, leaders identified the benefit of forming an external advisory group to help continuously improve communication, outreach, and service.
This volunteer group will collaborate with the agency to evaluate engagement and service delivery, with an emphasis on Communities of Color, LGBTQIA+ and historically underserved populations.
“We recognize that different groups have unique barriers to trust with law enforcement," said FCPS Chief Jeff Swoboda. "Our hope is that this program will help us better understand experiences, fears, intersectional issues, and obstacles so we can solve problems together and create a safer community for all."
The group will take a similar approach as the 2018 Community Trust Initiative, during which City staff and residents examined barriers to inclusion faced by immigrant community members in Fort Collins. That short-term initiative yielded valuable recommendations for different City service areas. The new community advisory group will partner specifically with FCPS to identify gaps, make suggestions, and provide ongoing perspective about police programs and local issues.
“We frequently share data and have single-issue meetings, but what we’re missing is a regular group discussion with individuals who represent diverse parts of our community. We need to find out if the information we share is meaningful, relevant and accessible; how people want to engage with our agency; and what critical communication we may be overlooking,” said Chief Swoboda. "Without engaging all segments of the community, we fail."
More information about the community advisory group formation and opportunities to get involved will be shared in early 2021.