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Black Lives Matter

If my health permitted, I would be attending the marches for Black Lives Matter. When I read that some of the Parkersburg City council stated that the Police department was just fine and certainly did not need to be defunded, I was upset. From personal experience, I can not dispute that. But what I have heard from some residents of the city, they were stopped probably because of the color of their skin.

No organization is perfect. There is always room to improve. We are asking that each law enforcement -the city police, sheriff department, highway patrol, border patrol, homeland security officers, FBI, etc. do not use profiling, all members should wear body cams and turn them on when making a call. Chokeholds must be banned, stop using military equipment, all are held accountable for their actions, are investigated by an outside prosecutor. The officers need to receive training on tolerance and lessons on the racial history of our country. Just as nurses and teachers need to be certified and licensed, so should law enforcement. Many other countries have a much more intensive and lengthy training period than ours. When working as an elementary counselor in the Akron Public School system, I had to take additional courses every five years to renew my certificate. The law enforcement agents need to do the same.

Some of the money spent on law enforcement should be transferred to housing, education, and job training. I believe in unions but disagree with unions protecting people who commit crimes under the guise of protecting the community.

Maybe the law enforcement agencies need to contact The Southern Poverty Law Center to learn how to learn anti-bias training. They have a program for schools that need to be incorporated into the curriculum of all schools K-12 and beyond. Churches would benefit from using this curriculum, also.

Margaret Meeker

Williamstown

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