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LOCAL Announcement :: [none]

Concerned Citizens form Santa Cruz Copwatch

Copwatch, a group to observe and monitor police activities, is being formed by Santa Cruz citizens concerned about police misconduct and abuse of power in the Santa Cruz community. Following examples set by other Copwatch groups across the nation, members of Santa Cruz Copwatch concerned with the lack of police accountability will launch observation patrols and “Know-Your-Rights� trainings in order to increase the community’s oversight of police activities.

Copwatch chapters exist in at least 6 other cities, including the 10 year old Berkeley Copwatch, and the newly formed Copwatch in East Palo Alto. Copwatch patrollers take down badge numbers, provide written testimony, and in some cases videotape the interactions between police and citizens. The objective of Copwatch is to train the public in non-confrontational techniques with which they can increase their ability to observe police actions, and thus reduce police brutality and other civil rights violations. Santa Cruz Copwatch will be networking with other community groups and work towards amassing incident reports which will be presented to City Council encouraging increased regulation of the Police Department.

Citizen's Police Review Board Gets Dismantled from January, 2003

Santa Cruz Copwatch currently meets on Tuesdays, 7:00 PM, at the Infoshop (509A Broadway).

[ Santa Cruz Copwatch I Know Your Rights card in Spanish and English ]
Copwatch, a group to observe and monitor police activities is being formed by Santa Cruz citizens concerned about police misconduct and abuse of power in the Santa Cruz community. Following examples set by other Copwatch groups across the nation, member of Santa Cruz Copwatch concerned with the lack of police accountability will launch observation patrols and “Know-Your-Rights� trainings in order to increase the community’s oversight of police activities.

Copwatch chapters exist in at least 6 other cities, including the 10 year old Berkeley Copwatch, and the newly formed Copwatch in East Palo Alto. Copwatch patrollers take down badge numbers, provide written testimony, and in some cases videotape the interactions between police and citizens. The objective of Copwatch is to train the public in non-confrontational techniques with which they can increase their ability to observe police actions, and thus reduce police brutality and other civil rights violations. Santa Cruz Copwatch will be networking with other community groups and work towards amassing incident reports which will be presented to City Council encouraging increased regulation of the Police Department.

One reason for the formation of Santa Cruz Copwatch is the 2003 disbanding of the Citizen’s Police Review Board due to budget cuts. The Citizen’s Police Review Board was a forum for the public to air grievances about police misconduct and inform the department of any problems between police/community relations. Santa Cruz Copwatch is not a replacement for the Citizen’s Review Board, and plans to encourage the city council to reinstate the group and to give it more power to discipline officers who violate rules of conduct. Copwatch intends to become a watchdog group that educates both the citizenry and the police force about civil rights and by documenting abuses of police power.

Santa Cruz Copwatch’s goals are to increase public accountability for police, strengthen community solidarity against all forms of racism, sexism, ageism, and classism, reinforce a standard of non-violence, prevent harassment by standing witness, and reinvest community conflict resolutions. Copwatch is dedicated to a policy of non-violence and non-interference, wanting only to encourage people to use their right to observe the police with the intention of preventing police misconduct. Its purpose is to protect underprivileged people who are often victims of police misconduct and are either unable to or prevented from speaking out for themselves.

To mark the beginning of Santa Cruz Copwatch, a “Know Your Rights� training will be held for the community on May 8, 2004, at 1pm in San Lorenzo Park. People who attend will receive training on rights of a person stopped by police, what to look for when someone else is stopped by police, safety techniques for observing police, what to do if someone’s rights are violated, and how to document incidents of police misconduct. Copwatch encourages community members to attend the training and to attend Copwatch meetings, Tuesdays at 7pm at the Infoshop, located next to the Resource Center for Non-Violence at 509 A Broadway. Copwatch is educating the community to be aware of their rights in the hopes that people will watch out for their rights and the rights of other at all times, particularly in encounters with the police.

For information: www.santacruzcopwatch.org
Or attend a meeting Tuesdays, 7pm 509A Broadway
 
 


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Comments

Re: Concerned Citizens form Santa Cruz Copwatch

I am very grateful that a Santa Cruz Copwatch is being formed, and would encourage you to keep the University of California police on your agenda as well.
 

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