Chico City Council Candidates
CC4J sent a questionnaire to all of the eight candidates for the open seats on the Chico City Council in September, 2022. Below are the responses received from Morgan Kennedy.
District 2 - Morgan Kennedy contact: Morgan Kennedy for Council
Questions for Chico City Council Candidates
In “21stCentury Policing”, law enforcement is called upon to be “guardians, not warriors” to build trust and legitimacy both within agencies and with the public. What police reform do you see is needed in Chico and what will you do to enact this reform?
I have concern with the over militarization of our police department. We are at our core still a small town and CPD is being armed to the teeth. This is not only further ingraining their department to believe our residents to be inherently dangerous, but it is furthering the belief of our residents that the police will do them undue harm.
2. Chico Police Dept. uses ‘Lexipol’, a for- profit criminal justice company, to write our Use of Force policy. Officers learn de-escalation techniques at the Butte College Academy but CC4J advocates for even more training. Will you support a local use of force policy that encourages increased training in de-escalation and overall humane policing? Yes I would support such efforts.
3. What method should be used to hold officers accountable for excessive use of force? I believe that any officer that is entrusted to provide safety to the the community and then abuses that trust by unjustly causing harm should no longer have their position as an officer.
4. CC4J advocates for Mental Health professionals to be sent to the call when someone is having an episode rather than Law enforcement. Describe what role you think Behavioral Health should play in such cases.
I absolutely believe that the police department should not be dispatched to an incident of mental health crisis. I believe that is the job of professionals trained in mental health services and trauma informed crisis intervention. I would hope that behavioral health would receive additional funding from the county to provide a rapid response team.
5. Although there is PCAB- Police Citizens Advisory Board, there is no independent civilian oversight in our law enforcement agency in Chico. Do you agree that independent civilian oversight is needed? If so, how will you promote oversight as a Councilor?
I do agree that there should be independent civilian oversight because it will hold our officers to a higher standard. I would promote the oversight as an opportunity for not only the police to be held accountable for any wrongdoing but also as a way to rebuild trust between the department and our residents.
6. One of the oversights the City Council has over the Chico Police Dept. is through the budget. How will you use the power of that oversight to guide law enforcement?
While the city council certainly controls the budget, that money comes from the taxpaying residents of our city. I would say that the police department should be reminded regularly that they are to serve and protect the community that provides them with that budget to begin with.