Press release: The City of Bloomington’s CAPS Commission Invites Community to Reimagine Safety with Weekend Event Series on IU Campus

The following was sent to the Bloomingtonian:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: LOCAL COMMISSION ENVISIONS ALTERNATIVE 

SOLUTIONS TO PUBLIC SAFETY IN BLOOMINGTON

The City of Bloomington’s CAPS Commission Invites Community to Reimagine Safety with Weekend Event Series on IU Campus

To highlight its newly released Alternative Public Safety Report and encourage community conversations about the proposed policies to ensure “safety for all at the expense of none,” the City of Bloomington’s Community Advisory on Public Safety (CAPS) Commission is hosting two free events. 

On Saturday, February 24 at 4 PM, Indiana University Cinema will screen the award-winning documentary, Reimagining Safety, which explores the challenges of policing. The screening will be followed by a short Q&A with the director, Matthew Solomon, moderated by IU Professor of American Studies and History, Dr. Micol Siegel. On Sunday, February 25 at 2 PM, a panel and community discussion will be held in the IU School of Public Health, Rm 125 and online via Zoom featuring local and national experts in community safety: film director Matthew Solomon, Nick Voyles of Bloomington’s Indiana Recovery Alliance, Jordan McIntre of Bloomington’s New Leaf New Life, Amber Sherman, a Black liberation organizer and podcaster based in Memphis, TN, Max Felker-Kantor, Associate Professor of History at Ball State University and Dr. Jody Armour, Professor of Law at the University of Southern California. 

Both events are co-sponsored by Indiana Recovery Alliance, Care Not Cages, New Leaf New Life, IU American Studies Department, IU School of Public Health, Palestine Solidarity Committee at IU, and Monroe County Women’s Commission.

To produce the report, the Commission held a public safety town hall, performed in-depth stakeholder outreach, and conducted extensive research on evidence-based models for improving public safety. In the report, CAPS identifies several systemic problems and recommends a significant expansion of unarmed, highly trained community crisis responders to be led by a new department of community safety. The department would focus on resolving the underlying causes that most threaten public safety, such as inadequate housing options and access to drug treatment and mental healthcare. In addition to attending the Reimagining Safety events, the Commission invites community members to join the Bloomington Community Safety Roundtable to add their voices to the next iteration of its efforts to provide “safety for all at the expense of none.”

Cut together with hard-hitting, contemporary news footage from such watershed moments as the brutal murder in May 2020 of George Floyd and the ensuing protests in cities across the country, Reimagining Safety falls squarely in the center of both the national and local discussions on the best way forward in policing alternatives. Affirming the findings of the CAPS’ Report, the film has as its premise that policing is not the only solution to all of society’s challenges in public safety. Filmmaker Matthew Solomon will be present at both the screening and the panel discussion, and is available for interviews. Please contact CAPS Commission Member Nejla Routsong at [email protected] to arrange an interview or a class visit.

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