The Modesto Mayor and City Council recognize that trust is the foundation of a strong relationship between law enforcement and the community. Both national and local events, some with tragic outcomes, speak to the need for connecting with our community on how we would like to be policed. The Council believes that together we can build a strong resilient public safety environment.
With the goal of stronger relationships and greater trust, Mayor Zwahlen has launched the Forward Together initiative – a community engagement process to hear from the public, develop a shared understanding, and explore solutions to improve the safety of our community.
An initial Listening Session was held on May 22, 2021 which gave the public an opportunity to share feedback about policing in Modesto with City Council and staff. The goal of the Listening Session was to gather input from the community and was the first step in identifying opportunities to work together to enhance the safety of our community.
Regular meetings of Forward Together are expected to begin in mid-late June. Meetings of the full work group will be open, with the details of in-person and virtual yet to be determined.
On June 8, 2021, City Council will consider the themes that will guide the work of Forward Together; the community organizations that are represented in the work group; and the outline of the Forward Together work plan.
A work group will spend 6 to 12 months developing a deeper understanding of the current practices and policies, in order to develop specific recommendations for City Council consideration.
The community-based process is intended to provide an opportunity for broader community involvement in any recommendations to improve the police-community relations in the City of Modesto.