Below is the dated response from the COO Serena Cruz and Deb Kafoury. (which was emailed out to all) I feel it is valuable to share again as an insight to the Commissioners tours as of late.
Good evening Matt,
We appreciate you reaching out to let us know how our email regarding the Rittenhouse verdict landed with you and your colleagues.
We did not write our email to in any way disparage law enforcement nor did we intend to encourage or condone riotous behavior. We understand that given the conditions you are working in and the experiences that you have had in responding to riots, physical threats to employees and property damage over the past year, how you and your colleagues could have perceived our email in that way.
We wrote that email to express our commitment to peaceful protest and our objections to vigilantism. We wrote that email to provide support for people of color and others who could feel that a system designed to protect them, instead approved of and ultimately cultivated the vigilante violence that occurred. We wrote that email before Friday night’s peaceful protest turned into a riot. We are opposed to violence and property destruction.
Just as we want to make sure our employees who felt hurt by the Rittenhouse verdict understood we were there to support them, we want to support you and your colleagues as well. We are deeply grateful to you for the courage and commitment that you demonstrate when you come to work every day at the Justice Center. We appreciate how you continue to step into dangerous and disrespectful situations to protect our community.
We understand the toll that the work you do can have on your mental health. We want to help and would like to offer two initial ideas:
We both would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and your colleagues on the EBoard. We envision this meeting as a listening session where we could have some give and take, hearing your concerns and offering our perspectives. If that works for you, we will invite Shelly Kent to facilitate our discussion.
Central Human Resources has offered to work with our EAP provider to come onsite and meet with your team. The Sheriff has expressed his willingness to work with CHR to make that work.
We look forward to hearing from you about possible next steps. Again, thank you for your commitment to our community.