BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Kern County Sheriff’s Department has created an advisory council in collaboration with the MLK CommUNITY Initiative Council, the organization’s spokeswoman, Arleana Waller, announced Tuesday.

“We want to educate and enlighten and be educated and enlightened,” Waller said in a prepared statement. “We believe the only way to accomplish this goal is to bring a diverse voice to the table, to roll up our sleeves and to work from a space of love and understanding.”

The council met July 8, one month after a June 10 Zoom meeting of Sheriff’s officials and a panel of community members. That meeting resulted in over 6,000 live views last month, Waller said.
From that, Waller, Sheriff Donny Youngblood, Undersheriff Doug Jauch, and community member Isaiah Crompton agreed to create the Sheriff’s Office Community-Wide Advisory Council.  

“This is a major historic moment and a positive move in the right direction,” Crompton said.

Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Joel Swanson said the council will meet quarterly but not until all members of the inaugural committee are in place. The council, he said, is “a work in progress” and no firm date for the next meeting has been set.

The initial Advisory Council will consist of about 20 local leaders or organizations, Waller said.

After guidelines and protocol are established, she said, other interested partners, community leaders, organizations and concerned community members will be added.
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