Did you take continuing responsibility for its implementation?


Wallace Warfield


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
And long-term responsibility....

Answer:
Long-term responsibility?

Question:
What does CRS do about that?

Answer:
Well again, in some cases CRS would be available for re-entry. That would be one way of doing it.

Question:
But not all cases?

Answer:
But not all cases. And not all CRS people are amenable to that. And then also the question would be, "Was re-entry recidivist, from the standpoint of going back over something that simply was not well-taken-care-of the first time around? Are you going back to band-aid again, or are you going back to deal with another level of the conflict issue? And that case is fine. Because thereís nothing to say, by the way, that because we intervene at some kind of level, then thatís it. You know, most things are going to have other faults and weaknesses; that is human nature, after all. The question is not whether the conflict has been fully-resolved, but what has it moved on to, and are you responding to this new level of conflict thatís been taking place here?

Question:
And even if it was to change, that it wasnít dealt with adequately the first time, so it comes back again that itís not a new level, itís the same thing over again. It does seem to me that the CRS might just go in and do it right the second time.

Answer:
Yeah, right. Do it right the second time.






Renaldo Rivera


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Talk about the vehicle or structure that you say you try to leave behind.

Answer:
For example, people need to have ways to assess, communicate with, get input from communities and collaborate with communities. This can mean they might need police advisory committees or structures, some relationships to local Church groups, youth groups, etc., that can provide assistance and a ready source if a crisis comes up. It creates a ready source of individuals that they can go to penetrate a community, to help reduce the tension right away. For example, a structure is a police advisory committee. Sometimes they might have a human relations commission or council in the town or the county, so that might be something that's useful for screening complaints so that there's some redress capability through local ordinances in the future. This then gives people some positive channels through which to put their anger prior to things getting completely out of hand. You might suggest community relations councils if they don't exist already. Sometimes you may provide additional training for human relations councils or offer to sit in on several police advisory committee meetings if they already exist so that you can take a look at how things are currently operating and make suggestions to both sides on how they might want to improve it around the current set of controversies they're having. Sometimes mayors or municipal officials may not have broader arrays of outreach relationships to affect their communities. Particularly with demographics of change. So, you may talk with them about how they would go about creating such a vehicle or a structure because sometimes they don't know how, they haven't thought it through. And what the appropriate groups are, because youth are most frequently left out, for hate crimes, for violence reduction, for prejudice reduction, and meanwhile it's the most effective group. Both between long term activity and loosely organized, spontaneous activity, it tends to be in young people, high school and early 20's, and they're doing those actions on people in high school and their early 20's. That's the grouping that often times is disconnected from any of the commissions in town, or the advisory councils or advisory committees or human relations committees. So, those are two types. Another one is promoting community forums and dialogues. That's another kind of vehicle and structure that we talk about. Sometimes they pick the form of town meetings, but sometimes there are just forums and dialogues and we try to assist people, if it's useful for them, to create this kind of forum or vehicle where they can get some public airing of these things and come out with some recommendations for future actions. If asked, we'll sit and facilitate those with them, because sometimes that's helpful to them.






Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Again, another one of CRS's problems was that there was no provision, really, to provide any follow-up assistance, beyond the original agreement.



Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Did CRS have any long-term involvement in it, or did you leave after the settlement?

Answer:
No. While CRS had an office in Denver and had relationships with both parties, the reality is that CRS did not then, and does not now have the ability to do follow-up, except on a very limited basis.

Question:
Why's that?

Answer:
Lack of resources and, of course, staff.




Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Well, we always do follow-up. That's part of our mandate. Do whatever you can to follow up. But sometimes it's very brief. When it's just getting rid of a closing case, but I was always reluctant to close cases. I always hung on because I always felt that there was a little more that I could do, a little more that I could get the group to do. So it became difficult for me to close these types of cases. My wife would tell me, "You become too involved and you have to learn when to back away." In certain cases, yes it was true. It was true I'd become too attached. It's human nature. You get attached to certain caring people who are aggressive, doing things particularly well. Young people -- I am addicted to young people doing things and I'm just..... I just can't help it when I see young blacks or young whites who are committed and involved in things that are going to make a difference. I am right with them.



Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
What assurance do you have that the police will do what they say they're going to do by the time they're going to do it? What happens if they don't?

Answer:
The negotiators set up a monitoring committee of law enforcement and community representatives. The people and the police negotiate it as a deal and agree to meet three or four times a year, or at the end of four months. They will sit down and review all that was planned and see if it has been done. Most likely it will have been done because we only talked about what's doable. What happened in all this is the people are now talking directly to the chief. They see that officers are not sprouting horns like everyone painted them to be. They're not devils. We're all people here. The other day in this big town, there was a mediation meeting with police command staff, and I asked them to tell about themselves. Why did they get into law enforcement? How long have they been with the department? One sergeant, who's an assistant to the command person, said, "Look, I've got relatives, and they're all like you. I'm the one that's a police officer, but they're not. They face the same problems you face when you're out there." So the people there got to see this person as a human being that has relatives just like they do. Comfort and lack of intimidation are very important. For the next meeting, all the police were not going to have uniforms. But everybody knows each other now, and we've reached that level. Now we're very much into negotiating what's going to be done. Who's going to do it and by when? So the monitoring committee, at the end, assures that it's continual. Another town I worked with went through this process. At the end, the mayor wanted to have a press conference in City Hall, and the mayor signed it, the chief signed it, the city manager signed it, as well as the community representative. They all agreed to a monitoring committee that was going to meet three or four times a year for two years. However, they then agreed to make that monitoring committee permanent. Then it became the conduit for issues, human beings are human beings, we've been dealing with conflict since Cain and Abel hit each other or something. That's a long time ago.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Did CRS take any continuing responsibility for implementing an agreement?

Answer:
Typically not, but we would stick with school desegregation cases for a long time. What would happen is when a federal judge was considering issuing a school desegregation order, we would visit the judge, explain what our agency was doing, and what role we might serve. Some said, "Thank you, we'll call you if we need you," and other judges would write us into the order as a resource to the parties. Some orders were general; others gave us very specific tasks. These orders gave us license to work with the parties, monitor developments and keep the judge appraised of what was happening.






Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

the one thing that sticks out to me was that it was a five-year program; we also said publicly that it was a one million dollar program.

Question:
What was the money going to be used for?

Answer:
One thing the money would be used for was scholarships.

Question:
Scholarships for minorities?

Answer:
Scholarships at universities, in this case, in the state of Colorado. Not only in the state of Colorado, but in the other four cities where McGraw Hill also had television stations. There were also hiring goals over a five-year period. One of the points of agreement was that each of the stations would hire a minority manager that would work as a liaison with the minority community to manage minority programs and air time. At the time, there was a popular show called "Talking Heads" which was a talk show. This show gave minorities experience in the media. Not only before the camera, or before the microphone, but also behind, working the cameras and doing the writing.




Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

We're engaged in that right now, in a study circles project. They are going to re-institute their Human Relations Commission with subpoena power in Washington, North Carolina.

Question:
So you've maintained an involvement the whole time?

Answer:
Oh yes, even after I left CRS and started working for county and state government here in Georgia. After I retired I still maintained a relationship with them all. Even when I wasn't employed they would call me I would go off and meet with them. It never leaves you.

Question:
Did you plan for that follow up? Was that standard?




Manuel Salinas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So then I became more of a resource person rather than a mediator.

Question:
What kinds of things did they call on you for?

Answer:
Well I helped them on some education issues, because we have a lot of publications on education issues, or could I identify a person that could come in and help them on education issues who had done well in another area. I went to San Jose, CA to view a school there. One man there turned a whole school around, so I went out and visited there, and then made arrangements for some Denver educators to visit as well. Those are the little things we can do as far as resources are concerned. There's no major case; it's a case, but it's not a true mediation case. I was involved with them quite some time after that on that kind of basis.

Question:
Were you continuing to go to their meetings?

Answer:
Yeah, I continued to go to the meetings. I didn't drop it off immediately, whenever I could I attended, so most of the time I was there. They didn't hold them that often. As they began to get results, the meetings began to wind down a bit.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
But once you go into a city and establish some sort of structure, such as the one you were talking about yesterday, does that tend to improve things over the long term?

Answer:
I donít know for sure. I am sure it does in some places. Thatís why I suggest we try to get a grant to look at some of that. I mean I could think of some good things that have happened, where you have a police-community conflict, where you get a significant level of response from the establishment, from the mayorís office basically, and police commissioner, depending on the structure, and the aggrieved community. Then you come together and you set up some mechanisms to address the issues. People exchange phone numbers so that anybody can contact anybody in an emergency, so when thereís a problem you can get to the leadership on the streets. Whether itís the police leadership or the community leadership. You have monthly meetings of the leadership to discuss issues. You have improved training, you review the police firearms policy and you make changes in it. You do human rights training, human relations for whatever thatís worth sometimes itís worth a lot, sometimes less. You build this into the orientation for new police officers. You address personnel complaints about assignments, hiring, and promotions. So these things would be written in. You come up with an agreement with half a dozen components to it, whether it was formal or informal mediation. Youíve involved the business leadership, perhaps, or other socially concerned business leaders, civic leaders, the black community, the white community, whoever the parties are. I donít know how enduring those have been in places over the years. It takes some enlightenment.







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