Letter from Police Chief Chris Skinner
I have been impressed with Eugene's welcoming and inclusive commitment to people from all walks of life. I believe our community is made richer when everyone's experiences and perspectives are woven into our collective tapestry. All of us come from unique backgrounds and traditions and we are better when we share with each other. It is important to respect and embrace other cultures and wisdom. Just about everyone you meet here has descended from someone who bravely left their country to become part of ours, and then provide amazing contributions to our communities. Some have arrived more recently than others and there are some important things to know about how the City of Eugene has worked and is still working to preserve your safety and make Eugene a comfortable place for you and your family.
The City of Eugene has protection for every individual. Here is our promise:
- Resolution 5174: That we, as a City, are committed to being a welcoming, inclusive and safe community for everyone
- Resolution 5073: That we have a supportive Statement of Principles for Immigrant Integration
Moreover, on March 13, 2017 the Eugene City Council unanimously passed the Protection for Individuals Ordinance (Council Ordinance Number 20579). This ordinance provides certain protections for all Eugene residents, including immigrants. This action puts provisions into City Code preventing the use of City resources (money, equipment or personnel, including from Eugene Police) to detect or apprehend individuals whose only violation of the law is that they are present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws. This Eugene City Ordinance is not dependent on state law.
The Eugene Police Department has had and will continue to have a prohibition on using its resources, whether personnel or other, for immigration and customs enforcement efforts.
I want our police force to be culturally responsive so that every officer, dispatcher, records specialist or other employee understands the cultures and concerns of Eugene immigrant communities and interacts with them in a respectful and empathetic manner. Eugene Police recruitment and training is aimed at cultivating a workforce that is reflective of everyone in our community. We are also committed to providing language access for individuals with limited English by providing incentives for Spanish speaking employees.
My commitment as chief is to these resolutions and this ordinance and to making sure that regardless of documentation status, you feel safe to report crime, be a witness, and engage with the community, without fears of immigration enforcement. All of my employees have this same commitment to you, reflecting the same values as I and the City hold regarding this matter.
Thank you for being a part of our community and please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions. Please call 541-682-5111 and refer to this letter.
Chief of Police