Planning their first session of 2021, the Oakdale-Riverbank-Escalon Branch of the AAUW, American Association of University Women, will host a Zoom meeting on Thursday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m.
Featured speaker will be Oakdale Police Chief, Scott Heller, who came to OPD in 2016 with an impressive résumé of experience. Not listed in his area of expertise was the issue of combating racial violence or mitigating police brutality. In 2020 though, Chief Heller along with many other police chiefs, had to confront those issues. On June 3, following the May death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, while in police custody, a Black Lives Matter protest was held in Oakdale. Though mostly peaceful, tension sparked between competing groups. A few days later when rumors of another protest were circulating a militia group arrived in Oakdale invited by a local business to provide protection. How did the Oakdale Police Department respond to these and other racial violence events? At the Jan. 14 Zoom meeting, Chief Heller will speak in general about the handling of these local incidents and his philosophy concerning the importance of the police department’s relationship with the community.
For more information, including how to join in on the Zoom meeting, call 209-847-0271. The program is open to all interested.