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WATCH: KRON4 hosts town hall featuring Bay Area mayors

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Mayors from across the Bay Area joined KRON4 for a live town hall Wednesday night on how the region is moving forward from the coronavirus pandemic and the protests against police misconduct.

Inside Bay Area Politics: The Path Forward aired live on KRON4 Wednesday night at 9 p.m. and was also streamed on KRON4.com and KRONon.tv.

The one-hour special was hosted by KRON4’s Catherine Heenan and Pam Moore.

Town hall guests included:

  • Concord Mayor Tim McGallian
  • Daly City Mayor Glenn Sylvester
  • Fremont Mayor Lily Mei
  • Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
  • San Rafael Mayor Gary Phillips
  • Santa Rosa Mayor Tom Schwedhelm
  • Vallejo Mayor Bob Sampayan

The panelists discussed the recent protests calling for police reform following the death of George Floyd.

The mayors also addressed how their cities are moving forward from the coronavirus pandemic.

Viewers asked questions during the town hall using the hashtag #BayAreaForward on social media.

We began in Vallejo, where Mayor Bob Sampayan says the city is looking to expand its police department but the mayor said they are also actively working on reforms, following an independent review of it’s department.

“Our calls for service are very, very high, so yes we do need to increase our numbers so that we can provide the service that our residents are asking for,” Sampayan said. “We commissioned OIR to look at our police department and as they have done for other departments, they produce a very detailed report as to what they have found were or are issues within the agency. They came up with 45 recommendations. Now, that being said, the Department of Justice is also, the California Department of Justice is also coming in to look at our department, do an analysis of it and they are going to use the OIR report as part of what they are going to do in terms of following through on the recommendations.”

Now Oakland is also looking at hiring more police officers. Mayor Libby Schaff said she believes Oakland needs to get to a total of 800 officers while it works to migrate police responsibilities.

She says they’ve been working on reforms for the last year now and Tuesday night, the city council approved moving forward with a reform plan they call Macro.

“Oakland is, I like to say we already have to some extent, defunded the police in that we have the lowest officer per crime staffing of any department in America. And we have been investing in new policies, practices, as well as the strongest and most independent citizen police commission in the country but what excites everyone, and I mean everyone, including our police officers, is standing up a new type of non-law enforcement response. We are looking to migrate responsibilities that police really shouldn’t hold and that is by creating a mobile community based response unit with medics, as well as mental health clinicians that can respond to the type of crisis that really don’t warrant a badge and a gun,” Schaff said.

That Macro plan is expected to be in place by this fall in Oakland.

We also spoke with Mayor London Breed from San Francisco and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo about coronavirus response.

If you miss the town hall, watch the full replay above.

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