Regarding my comments quoted in last week’s Wednesday Journal [In-depth police assessment report released, News, Nov. 16], the staff correctly reported my supportive words about Oak Park’s police department as reflected in the BerryDunn policing report.

However, what the reporter left out was the rest of my comments, which recognized what this report is not: It is not a document that offers a paradigm shift in policing, which is something many residents hoped to see.

The initiative to examine our police department grew out of the profound anger based on years of injustices experienced across the nation, expressed during the spring and summer of 2020, when protests against the racist behavior of police officers boiled over. For some of us on the board, the point of hiring a consultant to examine the Oak Park Police Department was to receive recommendations on transformational change in our village’s approach to public safety.

BerryDunn’s report does make multiple concrete recommendations that will make our village’s policing more equitable and help fight inherent bias and systemic racism. But I want to recognize that the report is a disappointment to many, including members of our community who have suffered from historic hyper-surveillance and harassment from a system that was designed exactly for that purpose.

Susan Buchanan
Oak Park village trustee

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