Don Gosney



On Thursday April 22nd, the Fairmede Hilltop Neighborhood Council—in partnership with the Hilltop Community Church—hosted a community roundtable hosted by Pastor Loren Laumer with Richmond Police Chief Bisa French, Richmond Police Officers Association President Ben Therriault and Richmond Police Management Association President Tim Simmons.

Questions were put to the three but the meeting was largely just a discussion of the issues in front of the RPD and the Council with regards to providing public safety to the community.

This roundtable was prompted by proposals coming from the Reimagining Public Safety Community Task Force the previous evening.

The video of the community roundtable can be seen here:


On June 10, 2020, the Richmond, CA City Council created the Reimagining Public Safety Community Task Force.  This task force was charged with developing recommendations for the Council to consider on how the police department might provide public safety using alternatives public safety methodology other than those that were being used at the time.

On April 21, 2021 the task force considered proposals put forth by their working subgroups.  Some were approved and some were rejected.

The following are the proposals accepted and rejected by the task force the evening before:


  • Shift emphasis from Firearm to Less Lethal Use of Force.
  • More Hands-On/Defensive Tactics Training. At present RPD has yearly training for Use of Firearm. Defensive Tactics should be required every month or quarterly.
  • Ensure the city accurately track money reimbursed for Training either go back to RPD or allocated for Public Safety Community groups.
  • Ensure Police Strategies Consulting Group provides community access portal to Use of Force Data (upcoming contract for RPD on for council 4/20/21).
  • City Council support AB 988/Miles Hall Lifeline Act, Suicide and Mental Health Crisis Hotline. Dial 9-8-8 Bill aims to better address mental health emergency calls.
  • Hire more dispatch operators to fill vacancies.
  • Dispatch is 24 hours/365 Days and is a pivotal part of people outreach in crisis. We need to Separate Police Emergency and Non-Police Response Calls.


RFR___Proposed_Investment_of_Funds.jpgPROPOSED RPD REALLOCATION OF FUNDS

  • RPD has to reduce the budget by $10.3 million by:
  • Reducing sworn officers, not non-sworn employees
  • Reducing overtime and “other pay”
  • Reducing ancillary expenses as a result of the reduction of sworn officers (e.g., vehicles, equipment, computers, building rentals, professional services, etc.)

Increase funding for SOS [Funding of $3,404,339]

  • Homelessness/unhoused support and care
  • Shower power, streets team, transitional villages

Increased funding for ONS [addtl. Funding of $2,500,000]

  • Gun-violence prevention and intervention

Funding and implementation of CCRP (Community Crisis Response Program) [Funding of $2,445,600]

  • Mental health crisis response and support

Youthworks 2021 Proposal – Serving up to 1,000 youth (Potentially including Undocumented/DACAmented Youth)

2020 YouthWorks Budget: $335,000 (General Fund)

2021 Proposed Re-allocation Fund: $1,930,150

2021 Youthworks Proposed Budget: $2,255,150

Possible Breakdown of Reallocation Funding*:

Participant wages: 1,000 youth x 100 hours x $15.21/hour = $1,521,000

Payroll taxes & payroll service fees = $228,150

COR staff and intern cost = $175,000

Office & web services = $6,000

Total Expense = $1,930,150

*Depending on the specific number of youth enrolled, hours could be increased, new worksites utilized, and other occupational skills training with a focus in-demand occupations (digital tech literacy, healthcare, special trade), On-the-Job training, needs such transportation, Laptops, wifi, work/interview clothes/ID cards, and childcare could be met with this increase of funding.


  • Written consent for all vehicle searches pursuant to a traffic stop
  • Banning Pretextual Stops
  • Institute a moratorium on traffic fees and fines until March 2022
  • De-prioritize traffic stops for minor violations that do not impact public safety – e.g. not wearing seat belt, expired registration, failure to signal.
  • Focus police actions on investigative stops and driving violations related to traffic safety – e.g. speeding, running red light or stop sign, impaired driving.
  • Consider developing an alternative method of traffic law enforcement led by unarmed civilians.
  • Include directly impacted people in police training courses.


[The following items are pulled from the presentation document from the April 21 Reimagining Public Safety Community Task Force meeting.  Please see the attached table for the full descriptions and explanations as presented to the task force and the public.]

OVERTIME ~ Reduce by 85% [cut $3,195,398]

“OTHER PAY” (including holiday pay and uniform allowances) ~ Reduce by 72% [cut $1,548,528]

SWORN OFFICERS ~ eliminate 25 sworn officers [from 158 authorized officers to 133] [cut $4,213,215]

[The following proposed cuts are 11.52% of the current budget for these categories]

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES (including computer software maintenance, animal control services, and other professional services) ~ [cut $455,047]

COST POOL (including vehicle replacement and general liability) ~ [cut $394,336]

OTHER OPERATING EXPENSES (including building and equipment rentals) ~ [cut $299,607]

ASSET/CAPITAL OUTLAY (including computer equipment and furniture) ~ [cut $70,021]


UTILITIES ~ [cut $44,965]


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