Forward Together Work Group
The Modesto Mayor and City Council recognize that trust is the foundation of a strong relationship between law enforcement and the community. Both national and local events, some with tragic outcomes, speak to the need for connecting with our community on how we would like to be policed. The Council believes that together we can build a strong resilient public safety environment.
With the goal of stronger relationships and greater trust, Mayor Zwahlen has launched the Forward Together initiative – a community engagement process to hear from the public, develop a shared understanding, and explore solutions to improve the safety of our community.
An initial Listening Session was held on May 22, 2021 which gave the public an opportunity to share feedback about policing in Modesto with City Council and staff. The goal of the Listening Session was to gather input from the community and was the first step in identifying opportunities to work together to enhance the safety of our community. Watch the May 22, 2021 listening session on the City of Modesto's Official YouTube Channel.
Work Group Meetings
The Forward Together Work Group hosted its first meeting on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. All meetings will be open to the public, with the details of in-person and virtual yet to be determined. Members of the Work Group will spend 6 to 12 months developing a deeper understanding of current police practices and policies in order to develop specific recommendations for City Council consideration.
The community-based process is intended to provide an opportunity for broader community involvement in any recommendations to improve police-community relations in the City of Modesto. Watch the July 20, 2021 work group meeting on the City of Modesto's Official YouTube Channel.
Community Health and Assistance Team (CHAT)
An alternative response to 911 calls
Beginning in the summer of 2020, the Modesto Police Department began exploring the idea of creating city Homeless Outreach Specialists to respond to qualifying calls through the 911 communications center for mental health crises and similar non-criminal, non-violent incidents. The first Outreach Specialists were hired in April 2021 and the early success of these interactions have been promising, helping to build relationships and work with individuals to accept shelter and services, resulting in the newly formed CHAT team. Learn more about the CHAT program.
|Thomas Helme||American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California|
|Will Kelly||American Federation of Labor - Stanislaus Central Labor Council|
|Austin Grant||Black Student Union|
|Leah Ashford||City Ministry Network|
|Jonathan Grammatico||Central Valley Pride Center (CVPC) MoPride|
|Solange Altman||Community Member|
|Terhesa Gamboa||Community Member|
|Marian Martino||Community Member|
|Nico Solorio||Community Member|
|Josh Bridegroom||Downtown Modesto Partnership|
|Alvaro Ramirez||El Concilio|
|Adriana Garcia||Hispanic Chamber of Commerce|
|Aaron Anguiano||Latino Community Roundtable|
|Trish Christensen||Modesto Chamber of Commerce|
|Tim Zearley||Modesto City Schools|
|Darius Crosby||Modesto Clergy Council|
|Brad Hawn||Modesto Neighborhoods, Inc.|
|Aaron Tait||Modesto PD Internal Affairs|
|Dan Starr||Modesto Police Officers Association (MPOA)|
|Wendy Byrd||National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)|
|Linda Mayo||National Alliance on Mental Illness|
|Ruben Imperial||Stanislaus County Behavioral Health|
|Birgit Fladager||Stanislaus County District Attorney|
|Matthew Mason||Stanislaus County Interfaith Council (SCIC)|
|Jennifer Jennison||Stanislaus County Public Defender|
|Jeff Dirkse||Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department|
|Perfecto Munoz||West Modesto Community Collaborative|