I am a young Black woman who lives in Mountain View. Though our police department is very important to our safety, I feel as though the proposed budget increase for new weaponry is completely unnecessary, especially at this time in our country.
The police are already doing a fantastic job protecting our city, and expanding their weaponry is not going to improve their already fantastic work. We do not need to militarize the Mountain View police force. Instead, put that money into community outreach. I listened to Police Chief Max Bosel in the recent Human Relations Committee meeting speak about how the police department is going to focus on community outreach and improve the relationship between the police and the Mountain View community. Militarizing the police force is doing the exact opposite of improving that relationship. As a person of color, militarizing our police force doesn’t make me feel safer, it actually makes me more afraid of the police. I already feel as though I need to be careful about interacting with police, as it is the sad truth that among the many great, amazing officers, there are bad ones out there, and as a Black person, I truly never know which officer I will encounter: One who is there to protect me with their life, or one who will cause me harm.
It only takes one interaction with a bad police officer to derail my life as I know it, and though thankfully I have never met a racist or vicious Mountain View police officer, it does not mean there isn’t one out there. I beg of you, please use this extra money in a productive way that will benefit the police and civilian relationship, that will ultimately result in long term, positive results. Instead of using this money for weapons, use it for the benefit of our city.