Sheriff Joe Pelle’s Statement on Equity
Our country has historically grappled with the issue of equity and systemic racism. More recently, we have seen an increased awareness and concern about racial equity and policing after tragic events across the country came to light, including the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and locally with the death of Elijah McClain in Aurora.
At the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, we believe that law enforcement must do more to build relationships and trust with communities of color. There is no room for a deputy sheriff, or any employee, who engages in biased behavior against any group of individuals to be part of our organization. We want our employees engaged in anti-racist behavior and speech.
When you are interacting with our organization, we want you to feel safe, no matter your race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender, or any other status. Should you find yourself speaking with a deputy, you should not have to fear for your safety or suffer any discrimination.
Law enforcement and the community must work together to make changes which will solidify trust and ensure equity for all our community members. One of our value statements is: We value the person. We value the diversity among all individuals. We will treat everyone with courtesy, respect and dignity. Please know that we are committed to find ways to serve our community in the most equitable way possible.
We have made changes to our policies and trainings to reflect that commitment. Please take a look at our 8 Can’t Wait flyer in the related links tab. We have actively been doing anti-bias training for a number of years and have recently been sending staff to participate in the Courageous Conversations about Race training. You can learn more about that program under the resources tab. Racial equity work will be an on-going and evolving effort as we identify new resources and effective offerings.
These are just a few of steps we are taking to ensure that everyone in our community feels safe when interacting with our organization. We see no end-date to these efforts, but rather an on-going effort to increase awareness and sensitivity, as well as to hold our members accountable to high standards for their contacts, communication and relationships with people of color, anti-racist concepts overall and community interactions.
We are aware of the need to audit and address structural racism that may exist within our policies and practices. Structural racism is a system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequities. To this end we have begun to examine racialized data and will address any disparities that suggest this exists.
If you have any comments or concerns about what we are doing to make Boulder County a safe place for all those who live or visit here, please let us know.