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Residents emphasize need to connect with neighbors at second Tiburon police forum

Members of local religious groups who attended an Aug. 24 community forum on policing said they wanted to better understand the experiences of residents of color and connect with their neighbors while also asking how their communities could support officers in times of crisis.

The forum, aimed at faith-based groups, was the second of four public Living & Growing Together workshops co-hosted by the Tiburon Police Department and the San Rafael-based nonprofit Transformative Justice Institute through the end of September. The next forum is Sept. 28 for under-represented communities; the final forum, for the general public, has been rescheduled to Sept. 30 from Sept. 14.

Pastor Rob McClellan of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Tiburon said he and his colleagues want to help police by offering emotional support and prayer when officers are bombarded with emotionally taxing calls. “If you’re in a bad place and you go to another call, I can imagine it would be hard to show up."

Leslie Freeman, a member of the Christian Science Church in Belvedere, said the process of the community workshops has started to shine a light on the issue of racial profiling in town. She talked about her friends, a Black couple from Corte Madera, who told her they’ve been pulled over by Tiburon police countless times on their way out of town after a dinner with Freeman. “That hurts my heart,” she said.

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