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New San Diego Council Member, Monica Montgomery, lays out 2019 public safety goals

Posted at 5:21 PM, Feb 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-06 20:26:05-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - One of San Diego’s newest City Council members is laying out her vision for a safer and more equitable city.

Monica Montgomery chairs the Committee on Public Safety & Livable Neighborhoods.

She was raised in the southeast San Diego district she now represents and wants to tackle problems the region has long faced, from making sure people have access to healthy food to police reform.

"We also want to make systemic changes to ensure every person is treated the same way and treated fairly by our officers - and it doesn’t mean that officers don’t do good things, right, it doesn't mean that officers don't have a hard job - but we do have issues, we have a study to show it, and we have to build off of the recommendations of that study and what our community has been telling us for decades," said Montgomery.

The District 4 representative is referring to a 2016 study by San Diego State University finding San Diego police officers were more likely to search black and Hispanic drivers following a traffic stop than white drivers.

Montgomery wants trust restored between police and under-served communities; she outlined some of the committee's 2019 goals on Wednesday:

  • Increase diversity in the police force to reflect communities they serve;
  • Review current SDPD policies regarding use of force;
  • Establish new "Community-Oriented Policing" policies; and
  • Explore housing incentives to help officers live in the neighborhoods they serve

Some of the police housing incentives the committee plans to explore include low-cost housing loans and down payment assistance programs.

Montgomery also plans to help under-served communities by increasing access to healthy food and grocery stores as well as improving code compliance in these neighborhoods.