A Meeting with former SF Police Commissioner
Safety and crime can not be fixed by one department. Specifically speaking, the police department. It’s a mismatch.”
The topic of crime and police work sounds like a mismatch on a fashion blog, but this is just the beginning. I’ve been wanting to sit down and digest everything that happened this past two weeks, but honestly I haven’t had a moment to reflect. And I think it’s somewhat good for me. Catching up with work and staying focus keeps my mind from having running thoughts. But I know to heal, I have to process everything. So instead of writing everything at once, I thought it’d be better to process the experience bit by bit.
Staying true to the fashion aspect of this blog, I wanted to share with you my outfit during the meeting. It was actually breezy and cold in San Francisco, so I layered up. A military-inspired textured coat with a turtleneck and tailored vest. I felt strong, confident, and comfortable.
After reading so many #metoo stories on my IG posts, I felt enraged and inspired at the same time. It lit a fire within me and I felt compelled to ask questions and to learn more. Thus this meeting with the former San Francisco Police Commissioner while I was up in SF. I wanted to understand how we can protect women, girls, and boys from assault. What I learned did not exactly address my questions, but it gave me a deeper understanding of crime and safety.
In other countries, the role of crime control is done by the police (and/or military) and the role of public safety is done by communities. In other words, the police department is extremely effective at managing major crisis. And safety issues are managed by neighborhood associations, civil infrastructures, social workers, schools, and so on. In the U.S., crime and safety are usually considered as one unit. And according to the Police Commissioner, that’s when the system falls apart.
It’s tough to expect the same uniformed officers to be amped up to catch criminals and be empathetic to victims of crime at the same time. This is not to say that it’s impossible to be both, but it speaks to the complexity of the occupation. So what are the solutions? Some cities have special units (usually big cities), while others don’t. For example, SWAT and Sex Crimes Units. Whether they do or do not have special units, police departments as a whole do benefit from more training and hiring more women (there’s about 15% women and 85% men in law enforcement). In addition to focusing on training and policy, also focus on culture. For example, a culture in law enforcement that takes women seriously and being able to talk about assault openly. A culture that emphasizes crime prevention and collaboration with civil infrastructures to strengthen public safety.
I wish I had more tangible actionable things to report back from this meeting for those part of the #metoo movement and those affected by assault. I’m just scratching the surface when it comes to crime and trauma healing. I’ll share with you everything I learn along the way. In December, I’ll be in LA to meet with community leaders to discuss trauma and healing, and in DC to meet with Congress members to discuss policy. Thank you for being on this journey with me. Words can not describe my gratitude for your heart, support, and encouragement.
As always, thank you so much for reading!
– OUTFIT –
Coat | Marissa Webb double-breasted coat
Top | H&M turtleneck & Marissa Webb asymmetrical ruffle vest
Bottom | Topshop cropped jeans
Boots | Christian Louboutin boots (similar Clarks button boots)
Bag | Fendi bag & Senreve envelop clutch
Accessories | Bachca Paris gold bobby pins & Brackish & Bell feather pin