Those attending Wednesday morning’s Town Hall lecture can expect straight talk from former community safety commissioner, police chief, and regional federal security director Dr. Cedric Alexander.
Wednesday, Nov. 15 — 10:30 a.m.
Location: Saroyan Theatre, downtown Fresno
Topic: “The Future of Public Safety in America”
Speaker: Dr. Cedric Alexander, MSNBC analyst and retired Minneapolis community safety commissioner
Ticket Information: at this link
These days, Alexander is MSNBC’s senior law enforcement analyst and heads his own consulting firm.
But, most recently before that, he served as the first commissioner for community safety in Minneapolis, the city where a Black man, George Floyd, was murdered by a white police officer.
While in Minneapolis, Alexander’s charge was to reduce crime while earning the community’s trust and repairing the damage done by Floyd’s in-custody killing.
His initiative Operation Endeavor led to double-digit drops in carjackings and gunshot victims. To achieve those results, he emphasized holistic communication and alignment to transform services in the city.
However, his bluntness and backing of the police department upset some progressives and second-guessers.
“I don’t care about what you think. … I’m interested in protecting this community not denouncing police who are trying 24/7 to protect us,” Alexander told a critic in a Twitter exchange.
Alexander later was scolded by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey for that tweet and others, the Minnesota Reformer reported.
Alexander Rises to National Prominence in Georgia
While serving as public safety commissioner in Georgia’s DeKalb County, Alexander often spoke on national network and cable television shows about the need to handle police-involved shootings honestly and with transparency.
He dealt with several police shootings of unarmed men during his tenure there.
In one case, a grand jury brought criminal charges against a police officer who allegedly shot and killed an unarmed and naked man who suffered from bipolar disorder, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
What Alexander Says About the Future of Policing
Here’s what Alexander has to say about the future of policing:
“Work will continue with communities to rectify and reform public safety, engaging to make things better, rebuilding broken relationships. Across the country, police leaders will not be deterred from doing the work that needs to be done.
“Unfortunately, headline moments serve to remind law enforcement we must get out ahead of things and take swift action when we see abuse. We have 700,000 police officers throughout the U.S. doing their work as a collective effort to respond to and reduce crime. I’m confident over time communities will grow in confidence to get out and feel safe.”
About Town Hall
The nonprofit San Joaquin Valley Town Hall is run by an all-volunteer board of directors. For 87 seasons, its mission has been to bring nationally and internationally renowned, thought-provoking speakers who inform, educate, and entertain the audience.
You can view the 2023-24 Town Hall lineup of speakers at this link.
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