On the Mayor's Mind: Serving and protecting our communities

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Chris Roberts
Mayor of Shoreline
By Chris Roberts, Mayor of Shoreline

Last week my son told me that he wanted to be an animal doctor, a firefighter, or a police officer. I am proud that he wants to give back to his community.

I am able to say that serving and protecting our communities is noble and just.

I am able to direct him to my good friends who serve in police forces across the country, whose bravery and dedication to their communities are the model for all of us to follow.

I can show him the exemplary work of the police officers in Shoreline who care deeply about the safety and well-being of the people who live and work in our City.

I am unable to explain to him why there is so much hatred in the world. I am unable to explain why people kill each other, or why we it is often difficult find common ground and understanding in our communities.

Our hearts are broken this week due to senseless violence across the nation and across the world. Last month we took a moment of silence to pay our respects for the 49 people killed in Orlando.

Since then 1096 individuals have been killed by gun violence in our county, most visibly the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and the senseless deaths of five officers and the injuries to 11 others in Dallas this past week.

These incidences may have occurred thousands of miles away from Shoreline, but deeply affected our community as well. On Friday, City staff came to work and found that people wrote anti-police graffiti inside our parking lot.

That same day, Shoreline residents dropped off flowers and other gifts to our Police Department in an outpouring of support for all they do to protect our city and keep our kids safe.

At the same time, we have been asked what can we do? What can we do to develop and maintain a level of trust between the police and our community?

In many ways, Shoreline is taking proactive steps to increase trust and awareness within our communities. For the past couple of years, Shoreline has offered the Nurturing Trust program, connecting law enforcement and community members, offering programs in both English and Spanish.

The City recently hired a Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator to lead the City’s efforts to engage and include members of diverse cultures and ethnicities more actively in the life of the City.

We know that these conversations about how to keep our community safe will continue in the months and years to come. A good place to start is by hosting an event for your neighbors on August 2, National Night Out. I hope we use that time to develop relationships, build trust, and celebrate the richness of the diversity in our community.


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