During the City Council meeting on June 9, the Vallejo City Council ratified a collaborative agreement with the California DoJ (Cal DoJ), providing a framework for the City and the DoJ to work together to review and reform VPD.
The agreement is the result of several months of collaboration with the Cal DoJ, based upon a desire to work together to implement recommendations identified in the OIR Group assessment (a third-party evaluation the City commissioned in August 2019). Vallejo Chief of Police Shawny Williams first met with the Cal DoJ on November 18, 2019; City Manager Greg Nyhoff, Chief Williams and Supervising Deputy Attorney General Nancy Beninati met on January 13, 2020; and coordination between the City and DoJ has continued since that time.
The partnership between the City of Vallejo and the Cal DoJ will enable the two agencies to work together on a comprehensive policing plan in an effort to modernize and reform VPD’s policies and practices and increase public trust. The review will aim to support effective policing through improvements in use-of-force procedures, anti-bias and community policing, and accountability by focusing on training, policy, and transparency in alignment with national standards, best practices, current and emerging research, and community expectations.
“The City of Vallejo has made some progress toward reform in our Police Department over the past year, including commissioning the OIR Group’s independent organizational assessment and hiring an excellent and well-respected new Chief of Police. While we’ve made steps in the right direction, there is more that we know we can do to help the department get where it needs to be,” stated Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan. “I’m proud of our City and our Police Department for embracing help from the California Department of Justice to assess and advise us on police operations.”
“Improving the relationship between the Vallejo Police Department and the community continues to be a focus for the City, and now that goal is on the forefront of our residents’ minds more than ever.” said Vallejo City Manager Greg Nyhoff. “We are committed to making improvements and being accountable to Vallejoans, and collaborating with the California Department of Justice demonstrates how seriously we are taking this matter.”
“The Vallejo Police Department is the community’s police department, and I’m committed to doing everything I can to ensure the department operates to best serve Vallejo residents. That includes welcoming all voices to the table when it comes to how we can improve our department,” said Vallejo Chief of Police Shawny Williams. “I look forward to working with the California Department of Justice; together we can collaborate on transforming the Vallejo Police Department into a model for 21st Century Policing.”
A copy of the Agreement is available on the Cal DOJ Website here, and additional information on the agreement can be found at www.vallejodojpartnership.org.
Additional information on the action approved by the City Council is available in the June 9 City Council Meeting agenda.