June 26, 2020
Dear Golden Eagle Family:
Following the brutal killing of George Floyd, many in our community have spoken out against police brutality, anti-Blackness, and systemic racism. Like others around the nation, our community is raising a call for an end to practices and policies that have disempowered communities of color. The theme we hear again, and again, is action. Our nation must examine and address these problems, not with words alone, but with meaningful steps that lead to change.
As we begin to reimagine public safety, here are some of the steps we are taking:
The Community Justice Council
The new Community Justice Council is an independent advisory group that will make recommendations to the president of the University and the director of public safety. This council will meet about public safety issues and concerns, community outreach programs, anti-bias training, and other ways to maintain a campus environment in which everyone feels safe and experiences a sense of belonging. The council will be comprised of students, faculty, and staff.
Community Care Advocates
The University will hire Community Care Advocates who will work within our community on conflict resolution and peacebuilding. These trained professionals will assist students, faculty, and staff in resolving personal and interpersonal conflicts that can adversely impact their experience in our community. The advocates will also be available to assist with situations in which an individual may be experiencing a mental health crisis.
Community Safety Recommendations
The 23 police chiefs of the CSU recently prohibited the use of the carotid control hold by all CSU police officers. For nearly 20 years, the carotid control hold and all forms of neck restraints have been banned at Cal State LA. The University has implemented many of the recommendations of President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which the chiefs pledged to implement. We will continue to work to incorporate these and other recommendations.
I recognize the painful history that brought us to this moment and the introspection and commitment to action that will enable us to emerge from it stronger, better, and more reflective of who we aspire to be as a nation and as a university. I look forward to working together with you on these important issues.
William A. Covino