First in our Trauma & The Law Conversations series, Law Talk Colorado founder Krystyn Hartman sits down with Grand Junction Police Chief Doug Shoemaker in Western Colorado to learn about "Trauma In Policing," as a starting point, timely on the heels of passage of Colorado Senate Bill 20-217 to Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity. "I do bristle a little bit when they say that it is all a policing problem," Shoemaker explains. "No, I think there's a societal problem. And is that societal problem real? I think we need to have more conversations and get more comfortable with one another. I think we need to understand perspectives. I think we need to listen more than we talk -- on all sides," he says, adding that "not all police departments are the same." Chief Shoemaker was featured on Episode 004 where we learned of his background as Incident Commander of the peaceful protest march following the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, prior to joining Grand Junction Police Dept as Chief.
"Chief Shoemaker has a unique background as both a police officer and peace officer that I felt, editorially, presented us with an equally unique opportunity of perspective in today's climate," says Law Talk Colorado founder Krystyn Hartman, a career journalist and retired magazine publisher. "I was inspired to attempt this series after listening to attorney Hannah Proff's interview on protestor rights [Episode 010]. She said, 'I know it's hard, but try to manage your traumas,' when being approached or questioned by police during a protest, and that just stopped me in my tracks. She had nailed something that both citizen and police were experiencing in certain situations. I saw it as a vital editorial thread that could touch a lot of people -- and could be a key factor in bridge building. I had to know more. The more I heard the trauma word in news clips, the more we recognized the need to pursue it."
We appreciate Chief Shoemaker for his willingness to sit down at the table with us to openly share his perspectives on such a sensitive and timely topic, making it clear that "each agency is different; we're not all the same."
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