Letter: Serving on Police Commission was an honor

To the Editor:

It’s with sincere regret that I resign my seat on the Ridgefield Board of Police Commissioners, effective Jan. 1, 2019, due to a necessary yet temporary move to Washington D.C.,

I was honored to have been elected commissioner in 2017. My hope was to share with Ridgefield, the Commission, and the Police Department that which I’ve learned throughout my career in criminal justice policy, including my active engagement with the International Association of Chiefs of Police. It has been an honor and a pleasure working with the Commission, Chief Roche, our new Chief Jeff Kreitz, Major Steve Brown, and the department as a whole.

This situation arose because in mid-2018, I was offered an extraordinary opportunity to impact criminal justice reform nationwide, which required me work from Washington, D.C., to which I have been commuting from Ridgefield since May. While I was able to participate in the commission’s work during that time — in person and remotely — it was only with the support and understanding that my fellow commissioners (and family) provided, for which I am sincerely appreciative.

I’m particularly thankful for the opportunity to have actively engaged with the Police Department, Police Commission, Prevention Council, and Board of Education members to improve Ridgefield’s substance abuse education. We have been actively exploring and hopefully soon adopting substance abuse prevention programming proven to work – in ways which, according to U.S. Department of Justice research review, the DARE Program has not proven to work. I will continue pursuing these efforts while in D.C., and upon our return this summer.

Thank you all for the opportunity to serve. The quality of Ridgefield’s policies, officials, and funding decisions are in your hands, and I hope you’ll continue the hearty participation that makes Ridgefield’s community so strong.

Stephen Saloom

Ridgefield, Dec. 28