Haverhill Mayor’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion to Present Recommendations by Labor Day

Haverhill Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro and Mayor James J. Fiorentini after a Mount Washington shooting in 2016. (WHAV News file photograph.)

The Mayor’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion has until Labor Day to make its recommendations on the Haverhill Police Department’s use of force policies and the makeup and diversity of city boards, commissions and overall workforce.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini appointed the Task Force following the outcry over the murder of George Floyd while in police custody May 25 in Minneapolis, Minn.

Two weeks ago, the mayor appointed Rev. Kenneth Young, pastor Calvary Baptist Church, as chairman. On Tuesday, city councilors receive the additional appointments of Haverhill residents Nomsa Ncube, Lynda Brown, Jesus Ruiz, Katrina Everett, Rev. Mark Rivera, Noemi Custodia-Lora, Roxanna Patroni, Kathy Rurak, Ismael Mattias, Gina Faustin and Kallister Green-Byrd and Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro. DeNaro is a non-voting member.

During a Mayor-City Council Conference in June, Young said racial bias doesn’t stem from police, but is actually an educational problem.

“I’m really concerned about younger folks that are in the city when it comes down to this system. I’ve had younger members that tell me that their teachers have told them that they’re going to be going to jail,” he said.

Young added he has had middle and high school students report incidents of racism coming from teachers and other students.

The mayor has asked the task force to issue a report on its findings by Labor Day, Sept. 7.

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