Earlier this summer, we shared that the University of Colorado Boulder Police Department, along with the Boulder Police Department and the Boulder District Attorney, marched with CU Boulder students in protest over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Participation in the march led to conversations, which then led to meetings and crucial conversations.
Building stronger relationships with students and other members of the CU Boulder community has been a priority for CUPD and even more so now as we work to build and reinforce mutual trust and understanding. In July, CUPD hosted the second in a series of meetings with students.
“The process overall has been productive in its efforts to achieve police reform, expansive community outreach, and increased transparency of law enforcement activities on CU Boulder's campus,” said CU Boulder senior Jemil Kassahun, who facilitated the meeting. “These students pose critical questions with the intention to ensure that minority groups are well served and protected in ways in which that had not been in the past.”
During the open forum discussions between CU Boulder students and CUPD Chief Doreen Jokerst, tangible action items were discussed to help improve policing for the CU Boulder community.
“We need to move forward together and work in a collaborative way to improve law enforcement and the CU Community,” said Chief Jokerst. “It is essential to continue to build trust and to build bridges to our underrepresented and Black students.”
“The newly created student coalition and Chief Jokerst have made significant strides most universities have not been able to make,” said CU Boulder junior Kennedy Blackwell. “We will continue meeting until both parties are satisfied and community needs are met.”
These meetings will continue through the fall semester and Chief Jokerst encourages all community members to reach out should they have questions on policing, the CU Boulder Police Department or law enforcement in general.
“This process is in its early stages,” said Kassahun. “There is still a lot of ground to cover to ensure that underrepresented students on our campus feel well supported and safe within our community, but I believe that we will get there."