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Welcome, and thanks to the community members, members of the press, and city staff who are participating in this fifth annual public safety report to the community. This year of course is different with an all-remote presentation. Thanks to our three presenters, each a leader in our public safety: Chief of Police Mike Diekhoff, Director of CFRD Beverly Calender-Anderson, and Fire Chief Jason Moore. 

 

An accurate annual picture of safety and quality of life in Bloomington is fundamental. By sharing public data about the full range of public safety issues, we embrace accountability, to track how well we are progressing, and identify persistent problems, in order to address them transparently.

 

Information related to public safety -- whether crime statistics, budget status, use of force data, and much more -- is available throughout the year at our open data portal, B-clear, with more than 200 data sets. And the resident-led Board of Public Safety meets monthly in public session for all to hear regular detailed reports on our activities.

 

Keeping our community safe is a fundamental responsibility of City government. I salute all the members of our public safety departments for the challenging work you do so professionally every day, always putting the welfare of all of our community residents and visitors ahead of your own, as true public servants. 

 

The year 2020 brought extraordinary challenges to public safety. The worst global pandemic in 100 years transformed all of our lives. You’ll hear today how our local public safety efforts were challenged, and how they changed, due to that pandemic. And with a public health system primarily housed in county and state government, our local coordination has been excellent, and I believe has strongly contributed to the fact that our community has weathered the pandemic thus far with some of the best outcomes in the state. 2020 also witnessed extraordinary activism and advocacy related to public safety and systemic racism, responding to several terrible examples of abuse of power nationally in the public safety context, and in light of generations of systemic inequities in our public safety systems. You’ll hear today how our community is responding to these monumental challenges as well.

 

First Chief Diekhoff will report on public safety and the Bloomington Police Department. A year ago, Chief Diekhoff reported on serious concerns about increased gun violence amid overall crime decreases. This year, you will hear a similar report about, again, overall crime decrease, including nearly 20% for crimes against persons, but continued concerns about rising incidents of firearms use in Bloomington. (note constitutional carry legislation, no background checks on handgun permits, bad idea). Bloomington had some of the largest peaceful demonstrations in recent history in 2020, and we’re grateful that our highly active and motivated community also is committed to nonviolence and progress.

 

You’ll hear reports about the new STRIDE Center for crisis diversion, and new staffing with social workers and neighborhood specialists, in continuing to evolve and modernize our police department. 

 

From Director Calender-Anderson, you’ll hear about public safety and the Community and Family Resources Department, including reporting on our Safe, Civil City multi-year efforts. Director Calender-Anderson will report on the ongoing work of the Divided Community Project toward Racial Equity as well as the Future of Policing.  She will report on coordinating a pandemic response of a Task Force on basic services like food, child care and housing this spring, that has evolved also into extensive long-term collaborative work on housing insecurity in the region. 

 

From Chief Moore you’ll hear about public safety and the Bloomington Fire Department. Last year key points were no fatalities; 2 saves of life; and maintain ISO 2 rating. This year, you’ll hear again, no fatalities. 1 save of life and the steady high ranking for our department. Chief Moore will share pandemic responses and leadership from the Fire Department, as well as forward looking steps based on our learnings. 

 

2020 challenged our public safety efforts in dramatic new ways. The leaders you’ll hear from today, and all their 250-plus colleagues, have responded very professionally and selflessly. Bloomington should be proud of the progressive, innovative approaches to public safety that are manifest every day, and appreciative of the people who serve all of us every day. 

 

I’ll now welcome first Chief Diekhoff, followed by Director Calendar-Anderson, and then Chief Moore. After the three presentations, all of us will be available to answer any questions from the media, through the chat function, which will be facilitated by the City’s director of Engagement, Mary Catherine Carmichael. 

 

 

 

Speeches