Criminal Justice Reform
Hector has been and will continue to listen to our community and work with the Lodi Police Department to make necessary changes going forward. The Lodi Police Department is very transparent and community driven, and has participated with the Lodi community to ensure everyone’s first amendment right to protest is secured. However, reforms can still be made to prevent any abuse from occurring in the future. Such reforms have been outlined by 8 Can’t Wait:
- Ban choke holds and strangle holds
- Require de-escalation
- Require warnings before shooting
- Exhaust all alternatives before shooting
- Require officers to intervene when fellow officers are using excessive force
- A ban on shooting moving vehicles
- Require a use of force continuum
- Require comprehensive reporting
Hector is not for simply “defunding the police.” The defund the police movement is highly misunderstood, but that’s because there has been terrible communication. The purpose is to relieve the police of duties they are not equipped to handle.
Over the past 30 years we as a society have been putting more and more on our police, but they are not trained for all these situations. It’s time to bring in social workers, nurses, and counselors to handle domestic issues, homeless citizens, substance abuse, and mental health. This will also allow our police to focus on criminal activity where law enforcement is required. Moreover, I’m a strong proponent of community policing, as I have led the national night out gatherings and neighborhood watch in my area for years. The police have come to our outings, and I believe they should be familiar with all the faces in every neighborhood in our small town. Any sort of direct defunding would be to reduce the militarization of our police force. They are not the army, they are a community police department.
Additionally, our Police Department should work with our local organizations to create public events with the community. The police should know our citizens, and our citizens should know our police.
Another important factor towards justice is examining police recruitment. It is important to know the past of our police force. No one should be hired if they have been previously fired for abuse of power, excessive force, etc.
Moreover, we need a county-wide citizen oversight committee on policing for all departments with subpoena power. If wrong doing is found, investigations should be handled by the State Attorney General. There has to be a firewall between investigations of officers and local district attorneys — across the board — throughout the entire country.
Not only is Hector working in Lodi, but he is apart of San Joaquin Together, a new organization that brings people and leaders from all over the county together. Not long ago hector co-hosted a Panel Discussion that included the President of the NAACP Stockton Branch, Bobby Bivens, and El Concilio’s VP of Special Programs and Operations, Ines Ruiz Huston. Click here to see our Panel Discussion on Racism in our past and future.