CHICO, Calif. — A group of Butte County locals called Concerned Citizens for Justice (CC4J) revealed their plan to reform policing within the city of Chico Thursday morning.
The plan, called “Action Plan to Transform Policing in Chico,” is what CC4J’s coordinator Emily Alma says will help create a culture where all Chico residents feel safe regardless of background or identity.
“Our ultimate goal is to work with our community, including law enforcement, to establish formalized citizen oversight and to take steps along the way towards a safer community,” says Alma.
The group formed in 2017 after Chico resident Desmond Phillips was shot and killed by Chico police during a family dispute.
Today, members expressed their skepticism with local law enforcement and why change is necessary.
“We don’t trust the police because the institution is untrustworthy,” says CC4J member and local author Anthony Porter.
“When Chico PD or any other police agency does not show up and listen to the ally, people die and people get hurt,” says CC4J member and Chico Crisis Advocacy and Triage founder Lisa Currier.
While "Action Plan to Transform Policing in Chico" is requiring change with the police department, CC4J wants to clarify that this plan is not a call to defund the police.
“Law enforcement officers are not credentialed mental health providers and therefore ill-equipped to serve as a primary mental health provider in these circumstances,” says Currier. “We’re not saying defund all the police, we’re saying work together as allies.”
Matt Madden, chief of police for Chico PD, did not attend the reveal of this plan but tells KRCR in a statement:
"I am always happy to discuss policing with the community. It not only gives me the ability to showcase the fine police work that the men and women of the Chico police department do on a daily basis, but always allows me to find areas of improvement. Because of that, I am very much involved in the Chico City Council's Ad Hoc Committee on Policing. This has allowed the police department to engage with the community on a variety of policing topics, such as police policies and training."
Alma says they have been in contact with the department over the years but have yet to sit down with the chief to discuss this plan.
It’s unclear how much it would cost and how long it would take to make these changes. CC4J says this plan will ultimately keep the community and law enforcement themselves safe.
Read CC4J's "Action Plan to Transform Policing in Chico" below.