The City of Washington has a Community Advisory Committee and the group’s aim is to assist the city and police department. Mayor Jaron Rosien shares why the committee was created, “The Community Advisory Committee’s purpose is somewhat organic, but the main thrust is improvement of the police department. This can include review of policy and procedure, assistance in hiring and promotional processes, or simply brainstorming ideas for police-community outreach.” Rosien said the creation of this committee was one of the goals of Police Chief Jim Lester when he was hired to improve the police department. Its creation was approved unanimously by the council in February.

Those on the committee are appointed by the mayor and approved by the city council. Rosien adds the committee includes diversity across age, occupation, gender, and race, “Different perspective is key, to have well-round information and perspective is most important in leading to improvement in this area.”

The committee met earlier this month with Rosien and Lester, their first meeting since the pandemic began, and plans to meet as needed or on a quarterly basis moving forward. The committee is brainstorming ways for the department to be engaged with the public, and they have discussed non-lethal tools officers can use and the policies on their use, like tasers and pepper spray.