Town of Chapel Hill header
Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Bookmark and Share
File #: [20-0732]    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Consent Status: Passed
File created: 9/23/2020 In control: Town Council
On agenda: 10/28/2020 Final action: 10/28/2020
Title: Adopt a Charge for the Reimagining Community Safety Task Force.
Attachments: 1. Report from Council Committee and Draft Task Force Charge, 2. Final Report from Council Subcommittee - Reimagining Community Safety, 3. Resolution - Charge of Reimagining Public Safety Task Force 10-27-20, 4. Council Questions with Staff Response, 5. A RESOLUTION ADOPTING A CHARGE FOR THE REIMAGINING COMMUNITY SAFETY TASK FORCE (2020-10-28/R-12) as Amended
Related files: [20-0583], [20-0456], [20-0685], [21-0224], [21-0338], [21-0593], [21-0734]




Adopt a Charge for the Reimagining Community Safety Task Force.





Sarah O. Viñas, Assistant Director (Project Manager)

Housing and Community

Christopher C. Blue, Police Chief/Executive Director for Public Safety


Loryn B. Clark, Executive Director

Housing and Community

Maurice Jones, Town Manager



Overview: The purpose of this memorandum is to review a draft charge of the Reimagining Community Safety Task Force with the Council.



That the Council adopt the resolution to adopt a charge for the Reimagining Community Safety Task Force.



                     On June 24, 2020 <>, the Council adopted a resolution to improve racial equity and public safety in Chapel Hill.

                     On September 9, 2020 <>, the Council adopted a resolution to establish a task force to support the June 24th resolution. The resolution also created Council committees to evaluate appointees and review the Task Force Charge.

                     The Mayor appointed Council Members Ryan, Huynh, Gu, and Anderson to review the draft charge.

                     Additionally, the Project Team sought input on the draft charge from the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) and Center for Policing Equity (CPE).  Both organizations raised concerns about the short timeframe for completion of the Task Force’s work. GARE also suggested clarifying the expectations for the roles and responsibilities of the Task Force, project team, consultant, and Council and deliverables the Task Force is expected to produce.

                     Tonight, we ask the Council to review the draft prepared by the Council committee and adopt a charge for the Task Force. 


Next Steps

                     The Council appointed members of the Task Force on October 7. The first meeting was held on October 26.

                     We are in the process of identifying external assistance to facilitate future Task Force meetings and community discussions.


Fiscal Impact/Resources: There are no fiscal impacts associated with adopting this resolution.






Report from Council Committee and Draft Task Force Charge






WHEREAS, June 24, 2020, Resolution R-1 requested the Town Manager to develop “...a community-based, Town Council appointed task force to consider a range of issues related to public safety, including but not limited to the right-sizing of our police force; improving law enforcement practices and training techniques; alternatives to assigning responsibilities for human service needs to the Town’s public safety departments; reallocating resources as necessary, including from Chapel Hill Police Department, to accomplish the goals set out by the task force; and coordinating with the County and other jurisdictional partners to increase investments in programs and services that keep communities healthy and safe”; and


WHEREAS, on September 9, 2020, the Council established “the task force with 13 members and two alternates, representing segments of the population most impacted by inequities in public safety approaches. To bring forth the best ideas to address the current lack of safety experienced by marginalized members of the community, this work will center and affirm those experiences. Following an application process, and based upon recommendations of a committee appointed to review applications received, the Council will appoint members of the Task Force, ensuring broad participation by those who represent historically under-represented communities and those most inequitably impacted by policing, according to CHPD data, including Black males and females, youth, Latinx community, the refugee community, LGBTQ+ community, faith community members, minority business owners, the immigrant community, college students, those with disabilities, and elder people of color”; and


WHEREAS, on October 7, 2020, the Council appointed members of the community to the Task Force.


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Town of Chapel Hill that the Council adopts the following charge for the Task Force:


1.                     Understand the lived experiences with public safety in Chapel Hill, with particular focus on, but not limited to, Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Women, and LGBTQ+ people and identify key concerns. This should include gaining an understanding of how Chapel Hill’s history shaped and influenced public safety approaches today.


2.                     Define a safe and equitable community and specify what metrics could be used to measure progress toward achieving it. This could include a consideration of needs around community healing, trust-building, and moral recognition.


3.                     Map existing Town (and County and State, as relevant) programs and services, that contribute to community safety and determine:

                     What is working well as is

                     What is working and calls for increased investment

                     What is not working and should be fixed or ended

                     What should be created that does not yet exist

                     What opportunities exist for collaboration with other jurisdictions, UNC, and the private sector to address or strengthen the above?


4.                     Identify areas of strength and deficiency in Chapel Hill Police Department’s current approaches. This could include, but is not limited to:

                     Establishment and implementation of bias-free policies, practices, and procedures

                     Overall operational philosophy and culture, including alignment of officers with that philosophy

                     Transparency, accountability, and oversight

                     Civilian complaint review procedures

                     Composition of the force and roles of CHPD personnel

                     Personnel policies, including recruitment, performance evaluation, and compensation

                     Ability to recruit and retain high performing officers committed to equitable community safety


5.                     Based on the above, and best practices from around the country, recommend changes needed to achieve the Task Force’s definition of equitable community safety. This could include but is not limited to:

                     Unbundling services currently provided by the police

                     The appropriate size and composition of the CHPD

                     Creation of new categories of public safety personnel

                     Revisions to the scope of police responsibility

                     Proposals for alternate response mechanisms to mental health and substance misuse crises

                     Standards for mutual assistance agreements

                     Best practices for crisis diversion

                     Conceptualizing new models of public safety that have yet to be imagined

                     Review of laws and ordinances that criminalize survival


6.                     Issue a final report:

The Task Force will produce a report and present at a Town Council meeting its findings and recommendations on approaches to public safety that intentionally and actively dismantle racism, implicit bias, and discriminatory practices and increase safety for everyone, especially historically impacted communities and individuals. The report should include:

                     Actionable recommendations that could be implemented by the Town Council in the short and medium term

                     Legislative recommendations to our state and congressional representatives to address policing/safety recommendations (e.g. civilian review board, oversight, accountability, and policing powers) that cannot directly be achieved without changes to state legislation

                     Areas for further study and potential action and how those should be taken up.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the mission of the Task Force is as follows:


The Task Force will bring forth concrete, actionable recommendations to the Town Council that will achieve the following:

1)                     Increase public safety

2)                     Eliminate structural inequities in Town public safety systems; and

3)                     Enable all in the community to thrive.


This the 28th day of October, 2020.



The Agenda will reflect the text below and/or the motion text will be used during the meeting.



By adopting the resolution, the Council establishes a charge for the Reimagining Community Safety Task Force.